Seawright Votes to Approve Continuation of Essential COVID-19 Safeguards During "Extraordinary Session" Declared by Governor Kathy Hochul

Landlord and tenant relief funding increased by $300 million Eviction and foreclosure moratorium extended Amendment to open meetings law extends virtual meetings

The New York State Assembly last night approved the extension of the eviction moratorium, suspension of mortgage and tax foreclosures and small-business commercial eviction moratorium to Jan. 15, 2022, providing people more time to apply and benefit from available assistance programs (A.40001/A.40002), Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright announced.

"We must turn the tide and get the tens of thousands of New York households facing eviction or foreclosure back on their feet. The first step is to keep them in their homes and as safe as possible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic," said Seawright.

Tenants have bitterly complained about bureaucratic gridlock in the state's $2.7 billion in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Last week, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) had approved more than 46,427 applications for assistance out of 176,113 total applications.

The U.S. Supreme Court on August 26 refused to extend the Biden Administration eviction moratorium, saying if a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must expressly authorize it. That ruling allowed thousands of eviction cases to move forward unless the New York State Legislature acted.

The new legislation will also provide landlords with funding adding $150 million, for a total of $250 million, to a program helping small, struggling landlords. Commercial tenants and building owners are also protected from eviction and foreclosure

City tax lien sales and tax foreclosure are also suspended until January 15, 2022. In addition, lending institutions are prohibited from discriminating or seeking a negative credit report because the property owner is in arrears and has filed a hardship declaration.

Additionally, State and local government entities will be able to temporarily resume meetings remotely as a public health and safety measure.

"Our local Board 8 in Manhattan has seen record attendance since the start of remote meetings," Seawright said, who noted that constituents, including the elderly and disabled, will have greater opportunities for participation.

Seawright noted that at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, her office live-streamed more than 50 "Town Halls" via Facebook and Zoom to communicate with constituents and report on the response to the COVID 19 pandemic.