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Renters Rally for Extension of State Eviction Moratorium, Expiring Saturday

Tenants and advocates rallied in Foley Square, demanding action from elected leaders
Protesters march through Downtown Brooklyn by Kevin Limiti for BK Reader

On Monday, around 100 people rallied at Foley Square, calling for an extension to the state's eviction moratorium due to expire Saturday, NY1 reports.

Tenants and advocates marched from the square to Manhattan's housing court demanding elected leaders take action to extend the bill, saying the effects of the pandemic were still in full force.

"I'm very, very worried. I try not to think too hard about it," Crown Heights renter Marsha Hinds told NY1. She said she wanted Governor Andrew Cuomo to quickly establish an application process for the more than $2 billion in federal rent relief so she could apply.

"I don't want to be in arrears in my rent. I don't like the idea of being a dead beat. I want to get work. I want to be able to pay, but while this is going on I'd like a little help from the state."

Member of the Crown Heights Tenant Union Esteban Giron said tenants and advocates were asking for the same thing they had been asking for throughout the pandemic, "a blanket moratorium for all New Yorkers for the remainder of the pandemic and at least 180 days after the state of emergency so things can stabilize."

Giron said the moratorium was about saving people's lives, not making sure people got paid. "We'll deal with that, but right now there's a very clear mandate, I think humanitarian mandate to not evict people."

However, Brownsville landlord Cynthia Brooks told NY1 the moratorium had put her "on the edge of ruin" and she was going to have to sell her building, as tenants had not paid since April last year.

"We've been doggy paddling here, but we're beginning to sink here," she said. She said the state needed to release rental assistance funds so landlords could access that money from tenants, adding she had created a super job at her building and needed to keep paying them.

"These apartments were for people in programs, FHEPS (Family Homelessness & Eviction Prevention Supplement), low income, so I tried to help my community here, but it backfired on me," she said.

"I need help now and there's nobody there because 'you're a landlord you don't need help.' I do need help."

A bill was introduced to the State Assembly Friday by Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) that would extend the eviction ban through August. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also extended the federal eviction ban through June 30, however there are reports of tenants being evicted across the country in spite of the ban.


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