14000 NYC households face risk of eviction

New York: With the state’s eviction moratorium set to expire Wednesday night, residents of 14,000 New York City households who were struggling to pay the rent before the coronavirus pandemic could face eviction, according to the city’s Department of Social Services.

The moratorium has halted evictions throughout the state since March, but lifting the ban would leave households that were issued eviction warrants prior to the pandemic vulnerable, according to the city data.

“This is about people who, before the pause, were in danger of eviction. As a city we can’t afford to have 14,000 people, households, in the midst of a pandemic, entering the shelter system,” said Judith Goldiner, the head of the Legal Aid Society’s Law Reform Unit. “We need an extension of the eviction moratorium … Every neighboring state, all of them have extended their eviction moratorium.”

New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts have all extended their moratoriums at least through August — some as far as October.

The 14,000 households referred to in the data are cases in which warrants of eviction were issued, but no legal representation is on file for tenants and no eviction has yet taken place.

The city sent mailers to the homes of tenants determined to be at risk, making them aware of their right to counsel in housing court, according to a spokesman for the Department of Social Services.

New Yorkers unable to pay rent due to the pandemic would not be subject to eviction because of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act passed in Albany, which prohibits courts from evicting residential tenants for nonpayment of rent if they experienced financial hardship during the outbreak.

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