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New York tenants can breathe easy… at least, for another month.

As previously reported, New York's moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures was set to expire on January 1, 2021. Earlier this month, however, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.81, extending that deadline through January 31, 2021.

While Cuomo’s Executive Order does little for residential tenants, they may be protected--through the end of January--by the federal eviction moratorium. A new coronavirus relief bill was passed by Congress on Monday, which extends the nationwide eviction moratorium by another month. (The federal moratorium, which was enacted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in September, was initially scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020.)

The new relief package also promises $25 billion in rental assistance, another round of stimulus checks (capped at $600), and $300/week in pandemic-related unemployment insurance benefits. The $25 billion in emergency rental assistance will be disbursed by the U.S. Department of Treasury to individual states.

As we reported in an earlier piece, New York already has an established COVID rent relief program administered by the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). That same agency will issue New York’s share of the next round of federal financial assistance to tenants across the state. The HCR’s website notes that previous applicants who did not receive funding would not have to re-apply to be reconsidered for the new round. New applicants, however, would need to meet all of the following criteria:

  • must be a renter with primary residence in New York State;
  • must have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020;
  • household income must have been at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size; and
  • households must be “rent burdened” during the months they are applying for assistance between April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

If you believe that you meet the foregoing pre-requisites, you can contact HCR’s COVID Rent Relief Extension Program Call Center at 1-833-499-0318 or covidrentrelief@hcr.ny.gov for assistance with completing and submitting your application.