BROOKLYN, NY – Over the weekend, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) led his colleagues in New York City’s Congressional delegation in calling on New York Governor Kathy Hochul to take the necessary actions within her authority to extend the state’s pause on evictions, currently set to expire on August 31, 2021. Following the Supreme Court’s recent decision effectively ending the federal eviction moratorium, extension of the state measure is the only way to protect renters at risk of losing their homes in the face of financial strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given that New York State, driven by New York City, has the highest share of renter households in the country, it was awarded over $2 billion in Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funds. According to data from the State Comptroller, only around 10 percent of potentially eligible renters have submitted applications to the program. Extension of the pause on evictions is necessary to ensure the ERAP is available to help hundreds of thousands of renters get up to date on back rent and stay in their homes.
“House Democrats and the Biden-Harris Administration have made funds available for landlords and renters through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, but these resources have been too slow in reaching New Yorkers,” said Rep. Jeffries. “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, and Governor Hochul should use her authority to ensure that no one is evicted while we work together to improve the rental assistance process for everyday New Yorkers.”
In their letter to Governor Hochul, the Members observed that the expiration of the moratorium is likely to disproportionately harm constituents in minority and underserved communities.
“We remain concerned with the litany of problems regarding the roll out and execution of ERAP in New York. The state needs to address our concerns including the lack of outreach to potentially eligible households and the delays both for processing applications and making payments under the program,” wrote the Members.
Continued the Members, “With the eviction moratorium set to expire August 31 there is not enough time to fix these issues and get payments out to landlords and tenants. Accordingly, an extension of the eviction moratorium is the only way to ensure this program can both work as intended and keep families in their homes. We therefore urge you to take the necessary actions within your power to extend the eviction moratorium.”
Rep. Jeffries is joined in the urgent plea by Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Ritchie Torres, Carolyn Maloney, Mondaire Jones, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Adriano Espaillat, Yvette Clarke, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, Kathleen Rice and Jerry Nadler.
Click here to view their full letter to Governor Hochul.