ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – The New York State Eviction Moratorium expires this weekend. Before doing so, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, known as ERAP, again accepts applications to help tenants who fell behind with their rent payments during the pandemic. However, those who apply this time are not guaranteed to get any money.
Although there is no new money in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, a pending application will provide a tenant with temporary protection against deferral. Assemblywoman Pat Fahy said she does not qualify this as a loophole around Saturday’s postponement moratorium deadline.
“The courts have said that if you at least apply, it helps to ensure that you get to court that day. And we want people to seek justice, ”explained Assemblywoman Pat Fahy. “Someone can look at the records, look at the financial results and look at the hardships and try to figure out a way to keep people in their houses, yet make sure landlords do not bear the burden of this safety net.”
Genevieve Rand, a state-owned housing organizer for Citizen Action, said that while this may look good on the surface, ERAP offers to be open again does not offer real stability to tenants and does not give them a timeline for how long they can stay in their homes if they should apply now.
“The possibilities for actually providing stability are concrete legal protections such as a temporary extension of the eviction moratorium or the permanent passage of good adjudication protection,” Rand said.
Another extension of the eviction moratorium is something many landlords do not want to see happen, especially since they have to continue to pay bills despite some tenants not paying them rent. Heidi Danis told NEWS10 that she has two tenants who have not paid her for several months.
“It gets to a point where I do not know how to run businesses this way when the state is not backing the small business owner in terms of mother-and-pop properties,” Danis said.
She added that when it comes to landlords who accept ERAP money, there is a catch.
“If I accept the money, it means the tenant can stay for a whole other year, no eviction and no rent increase.”
The eviction moratorium deadline is still set to expire on January 15th.