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eviction

ASSEMBLY MEMBER DEMOND MEEKS/FACEBOOK

After the city of Rochester released an advisory over the weekend about possible coronavirus exposure at a recent protest, activists said that some Rochester police officers who responded were not wearing masks.

On Sunday, the City of Rochester reported that there may have been an exposure risk at a protest outside of 57 Glasgow St., where a court-ordered eviction was taking place. 

Protesters at the Dec. 18 eviction blockade said Rochester police officers who were not wearing face masks posed the greater risk of coronavirus spread.

Assemblyman Demond Meeks was arrested during a protest against evictions in Rochester. The assemblyman says that in the middle of a pandemic, it is inhumane to evict people from their household. He was one of more than a dozen people arrested during a protest against the eviction of a tenant in Rochester's Corn Hill neighborhood.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that there is a moratorium on evictions, but that is not entirely accurate. Landlords have said that they're also struggling to pay their mortgages, and don't know what to do without assistance.

So what do advocates see as the fairest path forward? Our guests:

Assembly member Demond Meeks/Facebook

A New York State Assembly member from Rochester was arrested Friday night during a protest held trying to stop the eviction of a woman who lives in an apartment on Glasgow Street in Corn Hill.  A  statement by activists was released about the arrest of Demond Meeks, who was just sworn into office last month. He posted video on Facebook of his arrest.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

Landlords in New York will not be allowed to evict their tenants for nonpayment of rent until the start of next year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, setting up a reprieve for renters who’ve been unable to pay rent for the last several months due to the pandemic.

But the order from the Cuomo administration will also place more pressure on landlords, who’ve still been required to pay operating expenses on their properties during the COVID-19 crisis.

James Brown/WXXI News

As a potential eviction crisis looms in Rochester and its suburbs, a new program will provide tenants and landlords across Monroe County with legal and financial assistance. At the same time, a new countywide court structure will consolidate eviction cases from town courts and Rochester City Court into one place.

A new multi-agency effort aimed at helping local tenants facing eviction was announced Thursday morning. Legal experts say the pandemic has exacerbated the county's eviction issue, with attorneys bracing for double or triple the number of evictions in the next few months. The new effort — the Special COVID Intervention Part, or SCIP — will ensure that every landlord-tenant case will flow through a single part of the city court system. The program also gives tenants the opportunity to access legal counsel.

This hour, our guests discuss the program, how tenants can access it, and its possible impact on the looming eviction crisis. Our guests:

There are a number of factors that could lead to a possible eviction crisis. The pandemic has put many people out of work, and now additional federal support for unemployment has run out. Advocates say something has to be done very soon or the crisis will hit Western New York.

Our guests discuss it:

Gino Fanelli/CITY

Rochester residents threatened with eviction would be guaranteed free legal representation under a bill expected to pass City Council this month, as the city braces for an anticipated deluge of eviction cases from landlords looking to recoup income lost during the pandemic.

The legislation creates a so-called “right-to-counsel” pilot program with $460,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds that would be used to pay for tenant legal services as well as staff a hotline for questions about evictions.