For many New Yorkers, even with Governor Cuomo’s executive order declaring an eviction moratorium, becoming homeless is still a very real possibility. COVID-19 is causing financial hardship and possible homelessness for many people living in New York.

In June, Governor Cuomo extended his moratorium on rent evictions with the Tenant Safe Harbor Act. Even with the executive order, landlords are still moving forward with the eviction process and serving notices of eviction to tenants. The notices give tenants two weeks to contest the case or be evicted.

Ellen Davidson, with the Legal Aid Society, says that the problem for many tenants is that they don’t understand the process and how they can contest the eviction notice.

Another problem for renters is that the government is not providing assistance to renters in the form of cash payments, and in some cases, the rent payments are adding up.

According to Robert Romaker with the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York says, “When we have people that are calling us, you know, it used to be two or three months of rent due, and now it’s four or five or six months of rent, so it makes it a lot harder for cases to, you know, be favorably resolved, because there hasn’t been any rental assistance that’s come through, which is really what’s needed.”

If you are in a situation where you are unable to pay your rent, contact the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York. They may be able to provide legal advice that can assist renters in learning about the eviction process, and how to contest eviction in court. Hopefully, tenants will be able to avoid homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis.