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LAS Demands Action As Eviction Moratorium Looms

Judith Goldiner, Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society, appeared on a recent episode of NY1’s Capital Tonight to discuss the actions New York must take to avoid mass evictions when the State’s moratorium expires on January 15.

Last week, The Legal Aid Society secured a court order requiring the State to reopen the Emergency Rent Assistance Program (ERAP) portal. Tenants who have applications pending in the portal cannot be evicted and reopening the portal is also a good idea because New York could still receive additional federal funding. According to the court, the portal must reopen this week.

“We sued because we felt like the State did not have the right to close the portal in the way they did and put tenants and landlord in a bad position when we strongly believe there is more money coming from the federal government,” Goldiner said. “Tenants shouldn’t get evicted while we’re waiting for the federal government to come up with more money for our State.”

In addition to reopening ERAP, Goldiner outlined two legislative priorities which will help to stem a crisis of evictions and homelessness. Under the proposed “Good Cause” eviction bill landlords would need to demonstrate a good reason for evicting tenants, it would also protect tenants from exorbitant rent hikes.  The Housing Access Voucher bill would create a program similar to the federal Section 8 law, providing a rental subsidy for low-income New Yorkers to enable them to stay in their homes.

Watch the full segment here.