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Relief for renters: Ban on evictions extended through August 20 

Tenants struggling to pay the rent can breathe a little easier — for a while.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended a ban on evictions through August 20 to protect renters in New York who have lost their jobs or been furloughed due to the coronavirus shutdown.
click to enlarge Sibley Tower houses market-rate apartments, affordable units for older residents, and, under development, “workforce” housing. - PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • Sibley Tower houses market-rate apartments, affordable units for older residents, and, under development, “workforce” housing.

Cuomo said Thursday the ban on evictions will be extended beyond its initial expiration date of June 1 until late August, and there will also be a ban on landlords charging late fees for rental payments. Renters can also use their security deposits toward rent.

The governor said he hopes it eases people’s minds.

“The No. 1 issue that people talk to me about probably is rent, and fear about being able to pay their rent,” Cuomo said. “This just takes that issue off the table until Aug. 20.”

He declined to speculate on what will happen after that date, but said that the state “will handle it” when that time comes.

“That’s what we’ve been doing with this situation all along,” said Cuomo, who added many decisions about how to react to the pandemic are being made on a two-week basis.

Some tenant advocacy groups have called for rental payments to be waived altogether for people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. But the governor has said landlords need money, too, to maintain their buildings.

Karen DeWitt covers Albany for WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. She can be reached at kdewitt@wxxi.org.
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