NYC’s biggest landlords pledge to halt evictions for three months

The move comes just hours after the state announced a one-week moratorium on evictions in New York City

New York /
Mar.March 13, 2020 04:15 PM
REBNY president James Whelan (Credit: Whelan by Evan Gutierrez)

REBNY president James Whelan (Credit: Whelan by Evan Gutierrez)

 

The Real Estate Board of New York announced on Friday that more than two dozen of its members, who own 150,000 rental apartments, have pledged to hold off on evictions for the next three months in response to the coronavirus.

“No one knows how long this pandemic is going to take to play out,” REBNY president James Whelan said. “Our best guess, in terms of seeing this through, was to look at a 90-day time period.”

Starting immediately, the members will not execute any warrant of eviction for three months with the exception of criminal or negligent behavior that jeopardizes the life, health or safety of other residents, according to a letter released by REBNY.

“With all the stress, health risk and economic suffering going on now, no one should have to worry about losing their place to live during this crisis,” REBNY said in a statement.

The letter was signed by a who’s who of New York City real estate, including A&E Real Estate’s Douglas Eisenberg, Richard LeFrak, Related Companies’ Jeff Blau, Brookfield Property Group’s Ric Clark, RXR Realty’s Scott Rechler, Taconic Partners’ Paul Pariser and Charles Bendit, Blackstone’s Ken Caplan and Kathleen McCarthy and others.

The move comes just hours after the state announced a one-week moratorium on evictions in New York City, to begin Monday, after calls to do so erupted across the nation.

The leading real estate trade group’s announcement also coincided with a push from more than 100 other organizations across the city, spearheaded by the tenant advocacy group Right to Counsel NYC Coalition, which sent a letter to mayor Bill de Blasio, urging him to close the city’s housing courts during the coronavirus pandemic.

But REBNY’s stance goes against a recent statement from the Community Housing Improvement Program, another trade association that represents smaller landlords. The group voiced concerns over the financial impact of a moratorium on evictions.

A spokesperson for CHIP declined to comment.


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