Governor Cuomo’s New “Half-Measure” Just Pushes NY Housing Closer to the Breaking Point

Governor Cuomo signed a new executive order on Tuesday broadening the scope of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, a bill allowing tenants to use financial hardship brought on by COVID-19 as a legal defense in some eviction proceedings.

Tenant attorneys expressed frustration at the new order, claiming that it’s “full of loopholes” and unfairly places the burden on tenants to prove their eligibility.

While landlord and tenant attorneys may disagree with the next steps Gov. Cuomo should take, they agree that this order is not a comprehensive solution.

KMWB partner Nativ Winiarsky told Curbed New York:

“Long-term and strategically, it will only serve to further compound the problems faced by both tenants and landlords, since tenants will ultimately have to address the large arrears balances built up … and landlords will be further hard-pressed to maintain services and financial obligations to their lenders… This will reach a breaking point, and I don’t think anyone is going to like what that looks like.”

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