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New York lawmakers to vote on extending eviction moratorium

September 1, 2021 Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press
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New York lawmakers prepared to vote Wednesday on extending an eviction moratorium for tenants who fell behind on their rent because of hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, called the Legislature to return for an “extraordinary session” with a goal of putting evictions on hold until Jan. 15.

The Democrat-led Legislature had yet to release details of the legislation by midday Wednesday.

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New York’s previous eviction moratorium, which included foreclosure protections for property owners, expired Tuesday.

Lawmakers are also expected to change how the moratorium works.

In an Aug. 12 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court nixed part of the moratorium that allowed tenants to pause eviction proceedings simply by filing a form declaring they’d had a pandemic-related hardship.

But the court said that landlords should have the ability to challenge those hardships in court.

Hochul said lawmakers are working on a fix that will stand up to legal scrutiny.

Months ago, lawmakers had expected New York wouldn’t still need an eviction moratorium this fall because the state approved a $2.4 billion fund expected to help as many as 200,000 households late on their rent.

But New York has released only a small percentage of that money so far: $200 million as of Aug. 23.

Hochul has vowed to get the money out more quickly.

Lawmakers are also expected to vote Wednesday on a bill to keep allowing Zoom rather than in-person governmental meetings.

Hochul also wants lawmakers to consider her appointees to oversee the state’s recreational pot sales program — a step her predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, didn’t take in his final months in office.

“There is no reason why simple announcements in terms of who the executive director is and who the chairperson is were not done in time, but I’m going to make up for that lost time, and I want those decisions made,” Hochul said Tuesday night.


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