NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) — Hundreds of tenants and faith leaders planned to march to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Midtown Manhattan office Tuesday afternoon, demanding an extension to New York’s eviction moratorium.
The rent moratorium was set to expire in a matter of hours Tuesday night at midnight.
State lawmakers may meet for an emergency special session Wednesday in Albany to extend the moratorium into mid January, according to reports.
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins tweeted on Friday that “We are working with both the governor and the Assembly to figure out the best path forward.”
Thirteen state legislators, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also signed a letter urging Hochul to extend the moratorium, pointing out that New York has the highest share of renter households in the country.
New York City’s largest landlord group, the Rent Stabilization Association, already said it will sue if the moratorium is extended.
The group is instead pushing for Albany to speed up distribution of $2.7 billion in rent relief payments, which go directly to landlords to cover up to a year of back rent.
After being sworn in as New York’s first female governor, Hochul pledged quick action to unstick an application bottleneck that has kept federal aid money from flowing to renters who suffered financially because of the pandemic.
Hochul’s promise to get more COVID rental assistance money into the hands of struggling New York tenants took on new urgency after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s temporary federal ban on evictions earlier in August.
The court ruling means New Yorkers behind on their rent because of pandemic financial hardship will have fewer protections when the state’s eviction ban expires.
Tenants who have filed rent relief applications are protected from being evicted, whether or not they’ve received the money yet.
Good Shepherd Services is hosting a pop-up event Tuesday from noon to 5 p.m. in East New York, Brooklyn to help tenants apply for the rental assistance.
More than 800,000 New Yorkers are estimated to owe back rent from over the pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.