Republicans in Assembly, Senate don’t want eviction moratorium extended

Posted 1 September 2021 at 4:57 pm

Press Release, State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

ALBANY – New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay, and members of the Republican Conferences today blasted One-Party Rule in Albany for planning to extend the unconstitutional eviction moratorium while ignoring a disastrous rent relief rollout that has plagued New York tenants and property owners alike for months.

“For months, my Republican colleagues and I have pushed for our Democratic colleagues to deliver much-needed relief to struggling New York tenants and landlords,” Ortt said. “For months, they have ignored our calls, as well as everyone else who isn’t a radical ‘cancel rent’ activist. Their unlawful eviction moratorium, being continued today, defies all common-sense if the true goal is to protect renters, small business owners, and stabilize the housing market. Their failure to deliver these critical funds – combined with the devastating policies they craft behind closed doors – is an implicit acknowledgment of their own incompetence. Deliver the relief NOW.”

“Since January, $2.6 billion in federal emergency rental assistance funding has been available to landlords and tenants, and yet OTDA (Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance) has repeatedly failed to deliver to those struggling to make ends meet,” Barclay said. “The state’s eviction moratorium expired yesterday, but here we – the Legislature – are today, back in Albany for an emergency special session to address a matter that should have been resolved long before now. Had the rent-relief program been administered by the state properly, and in the manner in which the federal government intended in the first place, tenants who have fallen on difficult times due to Covid and small-property owners who have received no income for the past 18 months, would have been in a far better financial position. Once and for all, OTDA must get its act together and ease the fiscal insecurity for landlords and tenants alike.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) also issued a statement opposing extending the moratorium on evictions in the state into 2022.

Hawley has expressed frustration that this moratorium has been extended multiple times, even as the state government sits on the vast majority of $2.6 billion in federal funding meant to address the issue, having distributed only 10 percent of those funds to tenants and landlords.

“If we do not do something to help our small landlords in this crucial moment, they may well go extinct within the housing market if forced to sell their property to large conglomerates to escape crushing debts which they cannot collect rent to pay,” Hawley said.

“More often than not small landlords are retired people with families to feed, tax and mortgage bills to pay, and properties that take time, money, and hard work to maintain,” he said. “To think we would ask them to continue to absorb the brunt of this housing crisis after holding on for roughly a year and a half now is absurd, especially when incompetency in our executive branch has kept money out of the pockets of the tenants and landlords that truly need it. Had we acted with any reasonable speed or efficacy in distributing the federal assistance that’s been sat on since January, we would not need to be debating this matter now.”