Pandemic-related eviction moratorium expires: What you need to know

New York’s eviction moratorium expired Saturday at midnight, which means landlords can now sue and evict tenants again if they’re behind on rent.
Attorneys say they’re expecting a flood of people into eviction court who could end up homeless.
"It's bitterly cold outside. It's hard to know what people are supposed to do," says Hudson Valley Justice Center Executive Director Virginia Foulkrod.
Foulkrod says since summer 2020, cases have been put on pause for COVID-related financial and health hardships.
"Those hardship declarations have helped to keep a lot of tenants housed," Foulkrod says.
But now those exceptions are over and Legal Services of the Hudson Valley says it’s expecting 700 more cases on the calendar in the coming weeks just in Yonkers alone.
Attorneys say Westchester County is second only to New York City for pending eviction cases.
Landlords say they don’t want to see people kicked out, especially in winter, but they need the money owed to keep their buildings safe and functioning.
"I think that we’ve extended the eviction moratorium enough times now. By letting it go, we can now act on those tenants that are the bad actors,” says landlord Howie Ravikoff.
Ravikoff and attorneys recommend to those who need help to apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP. It pays landlords past due rent, but funding is running out. The state says it’s paid out more than $1.3 billion in rent relief, but Gov. Kathy Hochul is asking for more help from the treasury.
"Programs for rental assistance, without more funding and more money, the pressure is there. However, these tenants don’t have another avenue with incomes not having returned to where they were pre pandemic and we’re dealing with people who even pre-pandemic were on a razor’s edge when it came to affording rent," Foulkrod says.
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