Even after the distribution of $2.2 billion in emergency rental assistance, an estimated 591,000 households in New York remain behind on rent, according to the National Equity Atlas, and nearly three-quarters are households of color. Only 2% of households with rental arrears have received aid from the program.
With moratorium on evictions now expired, many advocates argue that the legislation that addresses the short- and long-term impacts will offer a more effective and stable solution than further extension of the eviction moratorium.
Tenant advocates in New York are advocating for the passage of a statewide Good-Cause Eviction Bill (A.5573/S.1603) introduced in 2019 and 2021 by State Senator Julia Salazar of Brooklyn and Assembly Member Pamela Hunter of Syracuse ... But the bills were never brought to a vote.
The Good-Cause Eviction Bill would afford tenants critical protections against warrantless evictions and rent increases while preventing no-fault evictions and establishing a tenant’s right to an automatic lease renewal in most cases.
The bill defines a steep rent increase to mean either a 3% increase or 150% of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is greater, unless major market changes or renovations justify such an increase.
Now, with the pandemic’s impact on housing instability growing more dire and the release of a recent poll by City & State that found that 69 percent of respondents support the bill's passage, the legislation is beginning to pick up steam.
“This poll affirms what previous surveys have unanimously concluded: the majority of New Yorkers support this critical, common sense and budget-neutral legislation," wrote the Legal Aid Society in a statement on Monday.
"The poll’s respondents, which include policy and political science experts from all levels of government, believe that Good Cause is right on the merits and a measure that Albany should enact.
"With families still reeling financially from the pandemic coupled with a deluge of eviction filings statewide, lawmakers must usher this critical legislation into law before the end of session in early June.”