Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz and and Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson today announced that the Assembly has passed legislation to extend the residential and commercial eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, and expand the number of small businesses eligible for the hardship declarations.
“While we can see the light at the end of the tunnel of the global health crisis of the last year, the economic impacts on our families and small businesses have not diminished,” Speaker Heastie said. “Extending these moratoriums will give people the time they need to recover financially, keep families in their homes, and keep businesses doors open.”
“Tens of thousands of people across the state are still suffering from the impacts of COVID-19. We cannot allow people to lose their homes or businesses and we can't have more people become homeless during this pandemic,” Assemblymember Dinowitz said. “The extension of the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is critical to helping families keep a roof over their heads and get back on their feet, and help our small businesses stay in business.”
“Although the economy is opening back up, so many businesses are still feeling the financial effects of the pandemic,” said Assemblymember Bronson. “This bill will extend the eviction and foreclosure protections to more small businesses, helping keep their doors open and get our economy back on track.”
The State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021-22 Budget included approximately $3 billion in combined federal and state dollars for rent and homeowner relief. This included a rental relief program to aid eligible tenants with up to 12 months of rent and utility arrears assistance, plus up to three months’ prospective rent assistance for rent burdened households to maintain housing stability. This rental relief has not yet been distributed. Legislation passed today would allow New Yorkers to remain in their homes while they await this relief by extending the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Business Act of 2021 and the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Protection Act of 2020, both of which were set to expire May 1, retroactively through August 31, 2021 (A.7175, Dinowitz).
The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Protection Act of 2020, which passed in December of last year, helped tenants and homeowners who were struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic to stay in their homes by allowing them to submit hardship declarations. Similarly, the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Business Act of 2021 put a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for small businesses of less than 50 employees. Both of the bills that would be extended by today’s legislation provide tax lien and tax foreclosure protections, as well as protections against negative credit reporting.
Also passed today is legislation that would expand the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Business Act of 2021 to small businesses with up to 100 employees, or up to 500 employees if the business was shut down by executive order or health department directive for at least a two week period between May 15, 2020 and May 1, 2021 (A.7127, Bronson). The original bill, passed in January allowed small businesses of up to 50 employees to submit such hardship declarations.