Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended until Aug. 20 a statewide moratorium on evicting people from their homes or businesses if they're unable to pay their rent during the coronavirus pandemic, the Daily News reports.
The announcement prolongs uncertainty for many co-op and condo boards that have commercial properties in their buildings and are already experiencing income shortfalls from financially strapped commercial tenants. To the boards' relief, the governor did not cancel rent outright, which progressives have increasingly called on him to do. In addition to the eviction moratorium, Cuomo said he will sign orders allowing tenants to use their security deposits to cover rent while banning landlords from applying late fees during the pandemic.
Queens-Bronx Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the hardest-hit district in the country, spearheaded a push earlier this week for a nationwide cancellation of rent and mortgage payments, proposing in a letter to Senate and House leadership that such a provision be tucked into the next coronavirus stimulus package.
Some of Ocasio-Cortez’s like-minded politicians in New York said Cuomo’s Thursday announcement fell short. “Eviction moratorium is a Band-Aid on a gaping economic wound. We need real relief for people fast. #CancelRent,” tweeted state Sen. Mike Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, who has proposed a measure that would offer 90 days of rent forgiveness to residential and commercial tenants if they lose work or are forced to close because of coronavirus.
Landlords weren’t happy with Cuomo’s announcement, either. “This is acknowledgment that struggling tenants will need additional assistance over the next four months, but that cannot be done on the backs of private building owners," says Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 owners of rent-stabilized apartments in New York City. “No rent revenue means landlords are unable to pay property taxes, revenue that the city and state are counting on."
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