With the month of August right around the corner, many unemployed New Yorkers are left wondering how they’ll pay their rent after the eviction moratorium is lifted.
Speaking in his weekly “Mondays with the Mayor” interview on Inside City Hall on Monday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio said tenants who don’t have any income and can’t pay rent should not be evicted, and should have up to a year to pay.
De Blasio, who called for an extension to the eviction moratorium back in June, told Political Anchor Errol Louis that the federal government and Albany will have to step in to help tenants.
“We don’t have a mechanism for covering rent. The federal government, obviously with the next stimulus bill….that’s an opportunity to put a huge amount of rental assistance for New York City and the rest of the country,” the mayor said.
“But the other missing link is in Albany,” he continued. “I think we need to see action, whether executive order or legislation, to give everyone who just simply can’t pay the rent, give them up to a year of a grace period and the ability to pay on a payment plan thereafter.”
The city and state are under pressure from activists and tenants who’ve called on a complete suspension of rent.
Currently, landlords are blocked from evicting New Yorkers who can’t pay their rent, but after August 20 tenants will be responsible for making their rent payments — including missed payments from previous months.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June expanded protections for tenants when he signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act. The act block renters from being evicted for any back payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. A judge, however, could still issue money judgments to recover unpaid rent accumulated over that period.
De Blasio told NY1 that the city will provide free legal services to anyone facing eviction.
“We’re also going to provide legal services for free for anyone who’s facing an unfair and illegal evection because we can’t see these folks become homeless," he said. “We really need Albany to act, to give people the ability to do a payment plan, long-term, and we need money in the stimulus for rental assistance.”
File image above: John Minchillo/AP.
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