ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Eviction Moratorium is set to expire this weekend. Before it does, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, known as ERAP, is once again accepting applications to help tenants who fell behind on their rent payments during the pandemic. However, those who apply this time, aren’t guaranteed to get any money.
While there is no new money in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, a pending application will provide a tenant temporary protection from eviction. Assemblywoman Pat Fahy said she does not qualify this as a loophole around Saturday’s eviction moratorium deadline.
“The courts have said, at least if you apply, it helps to make sure you get that day in court. And we want people to apply to court,” explained Assemblywoman Pat Fahy. “Somebody can look at the records, look at the financial findings and look at the hardships and try to figure out a way to keep people in their houses, yet make sure that landlords are not bearing the brunt of this safety net.”
Genevieve Rand, a statewide housing organizer for Citizen Action said, while this may look good on the surface, ERAP being open again doesn’t offer true stability for tenants and doesn’t give them a timeline on how long they can stay in their homes if they were to apply now.
“The options to actually provide stability are concrete legal protections like a temporary extension of the eviction moratorium or the permanent passage of good cause eviction protection,” stated Rand.
Another extension of the eviction moratorium is something many landlords don’t want to see happen, especially since they have to continue paying bills despite some tenants not paying them rent. Heidi Danis told NEWS10 she has two tenants who haven’t paid her in several months.
“It comes to a point where, I don’t know how you run businesses this way, when the state is not backing up the small business owner in terms of mom-and-pop real estate,” said Danis.
She added when it comes to landlords accepting ERAP money, there is a catch.
“If I accept the money, it means the tenant gets to stay for a whole other year, no eviction, and no rental increase.”
The eviction moratorium deadline is still set to expire January 15.