New York City, NY

Evictions loom in New York City after Biden and Congress fail to extend ban

Tara Blair Ball

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A nationwide eviction moratorium is set to expire midnight August 1st after President Joe Biden and Congress were unable to prevent millions of people from being evicted during the most recent COVID-19 surge.

New York is one of only nine states that is currently offering tenant protection, but only for another month. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that extended a ban on virtually all eviction and foreclosure proceedings through Aug. 31. He said, it is “critical that we continue to protect both New York’s tenants and business owners who have suffered tremendous hardship throughout this entire pandemic.”

But these protections are only set to last another month, which may mean midnight September 1st, many residents of New York City might find themselves homeless.

Across the United States, many other Americans not currently living in states who offer eviction moratoriums will be at risk. More than 3 million Americans may find themselves without a home, with evictions possibly beginning as soon as Monday, August 2nd.

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to drum up votes to extend the ban, calling it a "moral imperative" to protect both renters and landlords from destitution. Despite the appeals of Pelosi and other Democrat officials, they were not able to get enough votes.

In a statement, Biden said, “There can be no excuse for any state or locality not accelerating funds to landlords and tenants that have been hurt during this pandemic...Every state and local government must get these funds out to ensure we prevent every eviction we can."

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “Housing is a primary social indicator of health, in and of itself, even absent COVID...A mass eviction in the United States does represent a public health crisis unto itself.”

These evictions across the country may further increase our COVID-19 infection rates. Homeless individuals, possibly even those unvaccinated, packed into shelters are highly likely to catch and spread coronavirus.

New York City has seen an increase in infection rates of COVID-19, and with no end in sight, this may prove even more of a problem come September. In the fall months, when more people are inside in packed spaces (such as schools, restaurants, etc.), New York City may even seen more of an increase.

With the federal moratorium on evictions coming to an end, New York state and city officials will be the only ones who can pass legislation to extend the bans and possibly bail out landlords who are struggling as well.

The great state of New York needs to help ensure that more people are not out on the streets, instead of less.

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