2 AUGUST 5, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Lawmakers urge Cuomo to protect renters
as eviction moratorium expiration looms
BY JULIA MORO
Renters are facing uncertainty as
the eviction moratorium expires
next month. Queens lawmakers
are urging the governor to take action
to protect New Yorkers.
The New York state freeze on evictions
expires on Aug. 31. This moratorium
has been extended several times
throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,
but offi cials have not indicated
there will be another extension.
Over $2 billion in rental assistance
funds have been given to New York in
the December 2020 coronavirus relief
package and the American Rescue
Plan. Tenants can request this relief
through the Emergency Rental Relief
Program (ERAP) application process,
and eligible applicants can receive up
to a year’s worth of unpaid rent and
However, these funds have not been
distributed to renters yet.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
wrote a letter to Governor Andrew
Cuomo urging him to protect renters
and expedite rental assistance.
“I am not confi dent that funds will
be distributed in time to protect the
hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers
who are at risk of eviction, causing
additional stress for these households,”
Maloney said in a statement.
According to Maloney, about
120,000 applications were submitted in
the fi rst 30 days since the applications
to receive the federal relief opened in
As a result, Maloney suggested that
Cuomo extend the eviction moratorium
until the federal funds have been
disbursed, which would avoid mass
evictions in August.
“The governor has taken decisive action
up to this point to protect renters,
and I hope he will continue to do so,”
Maloney said. “Quick disbursement
of these funds will help renters and
According to the National Equity
Atlas, 831,000 households are behind
on rent in New York state, with over
$3 billion estimated total rent debt.
Though there has been economic
progress amidst the pandemic, Maloney
said people are still worried about
losing their homes.
“Kicking people out of their homes
will only harm our health and economic
recovery,” Maloney said.
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State Senator Michael Gianaris
agreed with Maloney.
“Especially in light of troubling delays
in distributing rental assistance
funds, the eviction moratorium should
be extended beyond Aug. 31 to keep
people in their homes and prevent
mass eviction crisis,” Gianaris said.
Councilman Robert Holden has also
expressed his support for renters but
didn’t say the moratorium should be
extended since landlords are struggling,
“While tenants have been at risk
throughout the pandemic, so are
small landlords — many of whom
are seniors who depend on rent as
their primary income,” Holden said.
“Their desperate situation must
also be considered. The state needs
to process applications and get the
emergency relief funds to tenants
who need it more quickly, so both
landlords and tenants can be helped
out of this pandemic.”
On the other hand, Assembly member
Jessica González-Rojas said she
supported the cancellation of rent before
the federal government stepped
in and provided economic relief to the
“I would support the legislature reconvening
to legislate extending the
eviction moratorium until at least the
end of the year,” González-Rojas said.
“The reality is that ERAP, like many of
the programs by the state, has not been
eff ectively rolled out. New Yorkers
need time and real relief.”
Cuomo has not yet extended the
eviction moratorium but recently
announced a streamlined application
process for the rent relief program to
eliminate barriers for eligible New
Yorkers to receive funds.
“I am not confi dent
that funds will
be distributed in
time to protect
thousand of New