CALLING ON ALBANY LEADERS TO RECONVENE LEGISLATURE AND

EXTEND EVICTION MORATORIUM TO AVOID LOOMING CRISIS

Robin Hood Chief Public Policy Officer Jason Cone: “Governor Hochul inherited this crisis just one week into her Administration, and we recognize the important actions she has taken…However, if we allow thousands of households to be evicted while the State works on improving the roll-out of its program, this additional investment will amount to far too little, and come much too late…”

NEW YORK, NY – August 27, 2021 – On August 31st — just four days from now — New York State’s eviction moratorium will expire, creating an unprecedented crisis for the half-million households in New York City that are behind on rent. The State moratorium was already severely weakened by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on August 12th, and another Supreme Court ruling yesterday struck down the federal eviction moratorium, eliminating another critical protection for tenants. In response, Jason Cone, Chief Policy Officer for Robin Hood — New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization — released the following statement calling on leaders in Albany to reconvene the Legislature and extend the moratorium:

New York is on the brink of an eviction and homelessness crisis unlike any other in our history. Our leaders must reconvene the New York State Legislature and extend and improve the eviction moratorium before Tuesday. Leaders in Albany have an opportunity to stave off a preventable crisis as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.

Governor Hochul inherited this crisis just one week into her Administration, and we recognize the important actions she has taken, including a much-needed million-dollar injection to improve the State’s rental relief program. However, if we allow thousands of households to be evicted while the State works on improving the roll-out of its program, this additional investment will amount to far too little, and come much too late, to prevent a massive increase in poverty and hardship in New York. 

Inaction could force hundreds of thousands of our neighbors to lose their homes, just as Delta-driven COVID-19 cases surge and hospitalizations rise. Mass evictions could also condemn an entire generation to poverty. Data from Robin Hood’s Poverty Tracker show that following an eviction, New Yorkers often move to neighborhoods with higher rates of poverty and crime, lower performing schools, and less economic opportunity, making it harder for them to get back on their feet. Allowing people to be evicted would be a major public health risk, both for tenants and the general public, and an unprecedented humanitarian failure. We stand ready to work with our partners in Albany to defend New York’s renters and protect public health.

Additional background:

  • Many tenants, especially tenants of color who were most impacted by COVID-19, do not know that applying to the State’s rent relief program will prevent their eviction, and far too few have applied.
  • Estimates show that more than 800,000 renter households statewide — including half a million in New York City alone — are behind on their rent. Almost half of the renters in these households are unemployed and three-quarters earn less than $50,000 per year.
  • But only 160,000 households have applied for rent relief — that means over 500,000 who may be eligible to be protected by the State’s rent relief program are not.

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