eviction moratorium

Gino Fanelli/CITY file photo

Tenants in New York who continue to experience financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic would be safe from eviction until the end of August under a bill approved Monday by both chambers of the state Legislature.

The bill would extend the current moratorium on residential and commercial evictions in New York until Aug. 31. 

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:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York lawmakers plan to convene remotely for a special session Monday to pass a bill extending the state's ban on residential evictions past its Jan. 1 deadline.

State Senate and Assembly leaders announced the session Sunday. The bill applies to evictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pending evictions and those begun within a month of when the bill takes effect would be put on hold to allow people to submit a "hardship declaration" that would prevent any evictions until May 1.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office file photo

Tenants in New York will be granted another reprieve in the new year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, with an extension of an executive order that prevents landlords from evicting tenants who’ve faced financial hardship both during and before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension, however, may be moot: Democrats in the state Legislature are considering a special session next week to codify and expand a moratorium on residential evictions.

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.


Activists with Metro Justice and other groups are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to extend the eviction moratorium until after the coronavirus pandemic is over, and to forgive their debts. It is scheduled to end on January 1st. 

Tenants rights activists warn that if the state of emergency is not renewed in the coming days, housing matters could get worse.

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:

WXXI photo

Rochester City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of legislation from Mayor Lovely Warren’s office to help prevent evictions and homelessness.

“I could not imagine doing anything other than take advantage of, and make available, support and services that would begin to address the needs that people are encountering," said City Council President Loretta Scott.

About 4,500 people in Rochester are facing possible evictions during the pandemic, according to the mayor’s office.