‘Best Thing They Could Do’: New York State Passes Sweeping Eviction Ban

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Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
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The state of New York passed a sweeping eviction ban Monday that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for at least 60 days.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo quickly signed the legislation, which was passed by New York’s legislature in a rare session between Christmas and New Year’s Day, according to The New York Times. The bill bans evictions and renews tax exemptions for elderly and disabled homeowners.

“This law adds to previous executive orders by protecting the needy and vulnerable who, through no fault of their own, face eviction during an incredibly difficult period for New York,” Cuomo said in a statement Monday.

“The more support we provide for tenants, mortgagors and seniors, the easier it will be for them to get back on their feet when the pandemic ends.” (RELATED: Cuomo Says Addicts In Rehab Facilities Are Next In Line For Coronavirus Vaccine)

A homeless man sits on the street on Dec. 28 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

A homeless man sits on the street on Dec. 28 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Coronavirus-related restrictions on business led to a recession in the spring and summer, according to NPR. Millions of Americans, many of which were from New York, have lost their jobs due to such restrictions.

New York’s November unemployment rate was 8.4%, according to a Department of Labor report. In November 2019, the state’s unemployment rate was 3.9%.

“This is the best thing they could do for us today,” Vincia Barber, a tenant of a Brooklyn, New York apartment, told The Times.

Barber hasn’t paid rent in months after losing her job as a nanny, according to The Times.

To avoid eviction, a tenant must submit a “hardship declaration,” which is a document that explains why they aren’t able to keep up with rent payments, according to Cuomo’s press release. The eviction moratorium will expire on May 1, 2021.

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