Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed an executive order extending the moratorium on residential evictions through the rest of the year. The freeze, which officially began in late March because of the pandemic, was set to expire on October 1. The order extends the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, which protects tenants who can prove they experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis, to January 1, 2021. According to the governor, the executive order will extend these protections to eviction warrants “that existed prior to the start of the pandemic,” which were not previously included under the original law.
“As New York continues to fight the pandemic, we want to make sure New Yorkers who are still struggling financially will not be forced from their homes as a result of COVID,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We are extending the protections of the Safe Harbor Act through January 1 because we want tenants to have fundamental stability in their lives as we recover from this crisis.”
When signed by the governor earlier this summer, the Tenant Safe Harbor Act did not protect the roughly 14,000 people who were issued eviction warrants prior to the pandemic. But according to Cuomo’s statement, the protections will be extended to include this group of people as well.
The state launched a rent relief program earlier this summer to provide subsidies to eligible New Yorkers financially affected by COVID-19 and experiencing increased rent burden. The deadline to apply for the assistance program was August 6.
Other rent relief measures issued by the state include allowing renters to use their pre-paid security deposit for rent and banning fees for late payments. Cuomo this month also extended the eviction moratorium for commercial tenants until October 20.
- New York’s eviction moratorium extended by one month
- New law protects New Yorkers from eviction for unpaid rent during COVID-19
- NYC launches online portal with free eviction help
Editor’s note 9/28/20: This post was originally published on August 13, 2020, and has since been updated with Governor Cuomo’s extension of the eviction moratorium.