Hochul requests rent relief aid from Biden as eviction moratorium set to expire

Hochul requests rent relief aid from Biden as eviction moratorium set to expire

ALBANY – Gov. Kathy Hochul said that she’s requesting more federal aid from the Biden administration for New York’s since dried-up rental relief program, ahead of the likely expiration of the state’s eviction moratorium this coming weekend.

The eviction ban – in place since March 2020 – is expected to lapse on Saturday, Jan. 15.

“What we want to do is let people know that that is concluding very shortly. I’m having conversations with the legislature on what to do on this issue,” Hochul said during a press conference in Manhattan.

The moratorium was first signed as an executive order by ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help struggling tenants and landlords with COVID-related financial hardship.

It’s been extended multiple times, most recently by Hochul in September after a separate but similar federal moratorium expired in July.

Hochul said she’ll send a letter along with other governors, including California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, requesting additional aid to help clear a roughly $1 billion backlog sought by New York tenants and landlords.

“The federal government said that they were going to set aside money — leftover money — from other states that didn’t use it,” Hochul said.

“We asked the Department of Treasury for over $978,000 million of that money to come to New York to help our backlog,” she added, referring to a request New York made earlier this fall for the extra $1 billion in federal funding for the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

The Empire State received just $27 million – a fraction of the request.

“That’s not going to get us over the finish line,” Hochul said. “Today, I’m gonna be releasing a letter … to ask the federal government to replenish the coffers because what I don’t want to do is create false expectations.”

Hochul said she’s mulling other options with legislative leaders and also endorsed the reopening of ERAP – which closed earlier this fall – as ordered by a state judge last Thursday.

The program, which reopened Tuesday at 10 p.m., provides temporary eviction protection for anyone who applies – but it reopened without additional funding.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) echoed Hochul’s request.

“Senator Schumer has led on this issue since the summer when he urged immediate action that helped countless renters,” Schumer spokesman Angelo Roefaro told The Post.

“Now, there are other states with unused funds and we are working with the entire congressional delegation to ensure as much of these dollars as possible come to New York. We have also urged the Treasury to deliver those payments ASAP.”

New York initially received $2.4 million for the ERAP program – but the Cuomo administration slow-walked its opening, causing delay in getting the money out the door.

The state Office of Temporary Disability Assistance has paid out or is obligated to pay just over $2 billion to approved applicants, according to data as of Monday.

Although the agency has received 291,089 applications, so far just 104,152 payments have been issued.

Another 57,000 tenant applications submitted since June are pending approval.

Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association – a group that represents 25,000 apartment owners and managers throughout the five boroughs – slammed the state.

“I would not encourage anybody to file and submit their application to a portal where at the end of the day, there may not be any monies allocated,” he told The Post.

The RSA previously filed a motion – that’s currently pending – state’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down the moratorium after Hochul signed the extension.

“There are owners who have made applications who have not received any money.”


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