NEW YORK-Saturday, January 15, marks the end of New York State's eviction and foreclosure moratorium. The protections, put in place early in the COVID-19 pandemic, and extended in September 2021, are among the longest-lasting ones in the United States. New York State has the largest rental market in the nation, with almost half of residents renting.
Governor Kathy Hochul has requested additional funding for the federal government's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) but has said she will not extend the moratorium.
On Friday, protestors gathered in Manhattan to ask the state to extend Saturday's deadline.
A tenants' rights group, Right to Counsel NYC, estimates that at least 225,000 renters in New York State are at risk of imminent eviction. The New York Times reports that one-quarter of state households occupied by renters spent more than half their income on rent and utilities. In New York City, one-third of tenant households fall into that financially perilous category.
Residents who apply for the ERAP relief funds will be exempt from eviction while their applications are considered, and if they are found to be in need, even as the program currently lacks funds to disburse.
Exact numbers of homeowners at risk for foreclosure in the state are unknown, but a June 2021 estimate from the Center for NYC Neighborhoods calculated that as many as 75,000 homeowners in New York City alone may be at risk in the coming year.
A new state Homeowner Assistance Fund began accepting applications on January 3. The program has $539 million in funds to allocate to New York State residents behind on their housing payments because of financial hardship caused by the pandemic. Eligible missed payments include mortgage, taxes, water, sewer and condo and co-op maintenance fees.
This article originally appeared on the East Islip Patch