Bronx, NY – The Assembly has passed legislation (A40001) introduced by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz that addresses the following issues:
- Extends COVID-19 Emergency Eviction & Foreclosure Act protections through January 15, 2022;
- Extends Tenant Safe Harbor Act COVID covered period for permanent protections against non-payment eviction proceedings through January 15, 2022;
- Extends the small business commercial eviction moratorium through January 15, 2022;
- Adds the ability for landlords to challenge tenant hardship declarations, in accordance with the August 12 Chrysafis v. Marks Supreme Court decision;
- Clarifies that tenants are protected from non-payment eviction proceedings while an ERAP application is being reviewed, even if the eviction proceeding was filed before the pandemic;
- Clarifies that property owners are still permitted to seek an eviction where the tenant is “intentionally causes significant damage to the property or is persistently and unreasonably engaging in behavior that substantially infringes on the use and enjoyment of other tenants or occupants or causes a substantial safety hazard to others,” as was previously in place;
- Allows state and local government entities to meet remotely in accordance with open meetings law, provided that the public has the ability to view or listen and that the meetings are recorded and transcribed.
Additionally, the legislation from Assemblyman Dinowitz was passed in conjunction with a bill (A40002) to expand outreach and eligibility components of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, allowing applications first for tenants earning 80-120% AMI and subsequently for landlords of vacated residences and those where tenants refused to pay rent. The second bill also allocates $300 million in additional federal funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to support these efforts.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx), who debated this legislation for four hours, issued the following statement:
“I am very pleased that we have taken action to prevent an avalanche of evictions amidst a dramatic rise in COVID-19 infection rates throughout New York State. As I have said previously during previous efforts to enact my Tenant Safe Harbor Act legislation as well as the original and first extension of the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Act, keeping people in their homes during a deadly pandemic must be our top priority. This is a health issue as much as it is one of economics.
“The legislation that we passed today will undoubtedly save lives and will aid in New York’s recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank in particular Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has always stood with tenants, as well as Governor Kathy Hochul for her dedicated attention to this critical issue of getting rent relief funding to the people who need it. Thank you as well to Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and State Senator Kavanagh for their leadership in their chamber. Because of our work, all New Yorkers will be better off tomorrow than they started out today.”