End of eviction ban to unleash 14,000 warrants in NY

Advocates ask Cuomo to extend moratorium for pre-pandemic cases

New York /
Aug.August 04, 2020 11:21 AM
Governor Andrew Cuomo (iStock; Cuomo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

Governor Andrew Cuomo (iStock; Cuomo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

With one of New York’s eviction moratoriums set to expire tomorrow, some 14,000 active eviction warrants are poised to move forward, legal services providers warn.

The cases were brought prior to the state’s suspending evictions early in the pandemic. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has since extended but narrowed the moratorium. The latest 30-day extension of the eviction and foreclosure ban will lapse Wednesday night, Aug. 5.

A law enacted at the end of July allows tenants to forestall evictions if they have suffered Covid-related financial distress, but these 14,000 cases predate the pandemic, according to the Legal Aid Society.

The legal services provider estimates an additional 200,000 rentals in New York City are not eligible for the law’s protection.

From January to March last year, 5,393 evictions were executed across the city’s roughly 2.2 million rental units, data shows. The 14,000 active eviction warrants suggest that evictions in 2020 could far outpace last year’s numbers, which legal service providers argue is a threat to public health.

“Wednesday is the worst possible drop-dead date,” said Judith Goldiner, an attorney at the Legal Aid Society.

Goldiner also pointed out that Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont have eviction moratoriums that last longer than New York’s. In Philadelphia, a ban on evictions for all renters in the city was extended to March 2021.

“It’s honestly pretty shocking that every neighboring state has a longer eviction moratorium than we do,” said Goldiner. “I thought we were coordinating.”

President Donald Trump has also responded — verbally, at least — to the prospect of mass evictions as state and local bans expire. At a press briefing yesterday, Trump said he would stop evictions if Congress did not.


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