New York to Hold Rare Special Session to Extend Eviction Freeze
(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday called the state Legislature back to Albany for a rare special session to extend the state’s freeze on evictions.
The state Senate and Assembly are slated to vote on Wednesday on a measure to extend the state eviction moratorium as far as January 15. The freeze was initially put in place to help tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic and was set to expire on Aug. 31.
“We’re not going to abandon our neighbors in need,” Hochul said in a Tuesday press conference.
She said the state failed to fully distribute emergency rental assistance funds under her predecessor Andrew Cuomo, who stepped down last week over sexual harassment allegations. She said her administration would work toward getting federal funds out to tenants and landlords and expand the safety net for people who qualify for assistance.
“We can no longer wait and neither can they,” she said.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week struck down a federal stay on evictions, which would have given most New Yorkers protections into October. The court ruling said that landlords were suffering “irreparable harm” and that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked authority to impose the moratorium under the decades-old federal law the agency was invoking.
The decision meant the end of protections for millions of people who have fallen behind on their rent during the Covid-19 pandemic. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts estimate as many as 3.5 million households are behind on rent, with landlords owed as much as $17 billion, according to an Aug. 29 note.
During the special session of the New York legislature on Wednesday lawmakers will also weigh a measure to help increase access to public meetings and appointments to kick start the state’s cannabis regulatory process.
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