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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

Housing law update:

Eviction relief extended to Aug. 31

MELS Attorney, Housing Unit

On Dec. 28, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. The Act stayed residential eviction proceedings until May 1, 2021 where a tenant submits a completed Hardship Declaration.

On May 4, 2021, Gov. Cuomo signed the bill presented to him by state lawmakers and extended the eviction moratorium to Aug. 31. Now, any tenant that previously served and filed a Hardship Declaration with the landlord and/or the Housing Court will be protected under the extended moratorium. Any tenant who has not served and/or filed a Hardship Declaration can do so at any time before August 31, to secure coverage under the Act.

The moratorium extension will allow time for the $2.4 billion COVID-19 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ERAP) OF 2021, enacted in last month’s state budget, to open and begin accepting applications for emergency rental assistance and/or utility assistance. The ERAP program is expected to open later this month on the Office of Temporary and Disability (OTADA) website. OTADA is currently building the platform it needs to process the high volume of applications expected statewide.

Please call the MELS Screening Unit at (212) 815-1111 for help with filling out and filing a hardship declaration. MELS will provide advice regarding how the moratorium works. MELS also assists with securing financial assistance to pay rent arrears or utility arrears that accrued during the pandemic. Lastly, MELS provides legal representation in Housing Court eviction proceedings. If you have received any notices or court papers from Housing Court, your landlord, or your landlord’s attorneys, please contact MELS at (212) 815-1111.