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For some tenants in crisis, there's a little breathing room. The $900 billion stimulus package passed yesterday by Congress includes a one-month extension of the Center for Disease Control's nationwide eviction ban. This extends protections for eligible tenants until the end of January, and the White House says President Donald Trump will sign the legislation, according to CNN. [Editor's note: Trump eventually signed, but not without some drama.]
To qualify, a declaration form is required, stating you can’t make rent payments due to substantial loss of income, a layoff, or expensive out-of-pocket medical bills. You also need to have explored all government assistance options.
The CDC eviction ban extension is separate from but overlaps with the New York State moratorium, which currently expires on January 1st. If you don’t qualify for the CDC protections (and even if you do) there are resources to help you. The city’s tenant helpline via 311 can give you guidance over the phone. There's also a landlord-tenant mediation project to help parties come to an agreement outside housing court.
A landlord can still file a proceeding in housing court but until the courts are running anything close to normal, there will be a considerable backlog, slowing the process down.
Legal Services NYC estimates there are 35,000 tenants who have defaulted on 2020 cases and will also likely fail to submit CDC declarations to their landlords, putting them as risk of receiving notices of eviction.
There’s a right to shelter in New York City, meaning temporary shelter is offered to anyone who needs it, but if huge numbers of tenants are evicted for non-payment, Andrew Scherer, visiting associate professor at New York Law School, says the number of homeless people on the street will go through the roof.
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