Cuomo backs eviction moratorium bill


Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is celebrating the passage of his latest bill he says will continue preventing evictions and foreclosures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

A.11181 was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week after also making it through the state senate on Monday.

The bill is intended to freeze ongoing residential eviction and foreclosures for the next 60 days — something that could be expanded into May if a hardship declaration form is submitted.

It also is designed to prohibit negative impact on credit scores for homeowners who receive a stay on a mortgage foreclosure, tax lien sale, or for any money in arrears covered by a hardship declaration.

“As policymakers, our top priority must be to ensure that human dignity and decency can be maintained — even during times of crisis,” Dinowitz said, in a release. “Housing is a human right, and I am proud of the protections that this critical legislations puts into place.”

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi said that while the bill was a “significant step to protect families from eviction and foreclosure,” it’s not the finish line.

“Housing security has always been a matter of public health,” the senator said, in a release. “And during a global health crisis, it is a matter of life and death. If we are serious about keeping our communities safe, then we must commit to a multi-pronged approach that can help struggling tenants, homeowners and small landlords long-term.”

The bill is a follow-up to the Tenant Safe Harbor Act that was signed by the governor last June. Introduced by Dinowitz in the early days of the pandemic, that bill allowed landlords to get money judgments against tenants behind on rent due to the COVID-19 hardship, but were prohibited by law to evict them because of late rent.