It’s been estimated that 92,000 New Yorkers were homeless before the COVID-19 crisis began, now homelessness has the potential of ballooning.

Back in March, the government stopped all foreclosures and evictions nationwide. The suspension expired at the end of July, and Governor Cuomo has issued a moratorium on evictions, but landlords have found a loophole.

Because of the federal government's failure to act, Governor Cuomo extended the state's moratorium until October 1. Even with Governor Cuomo‘s extension, property owners are using paperwork that was filed before the pandemic to pursue evictions. If a landlord filed paperwork to evict a tenant prior to the shut down in March, they can now proceed in evicting their tenants.

The state government has been trying to assist tenants as much as possible. In addition to the extension that the governor filed, his office implemented an emergency rental assistance program to help low income families. Although the deadline to file for renters assistance has passed, local activists are still pursuing long-term solutions to the problem of homelessness in New York.

Luke Grandis, of VOCAL-N.Y., is pushing for intervention on behalf of renters facing eviction. He said, “A $1200 stimulus check was not enough to keep people housed over the past 5 plus months. There are a lot of loopholes to have to jump through and to be stamped by a landlord-friendly judge.“

I agree with Mr. Grandis. Anyone who lives in New York knows that $1200 will barely pay one month's rent, so it’s definitely unrealistic to expect people to stretch $1200 out for five months' rent. As a nation and a community, it’s shameful for so many of our citizens to be this close to homelessness.

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