New York is extending a rent relief measure on residential and commercial properties for 60 days to help families and business owners struggling during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
During his daily COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, May 7, held in Westchester County at the New York Medical College in Valhalla, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that renters will be protected from late fees and eviction from landlords through Thursday, Aug. 20. Cuomo also reported positive news regarding a drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“You cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent,” Cuomo said. “I understand the anxiety, I understand the stress … People are literally worried about paying the rent after not working or two months. The rent bills keep coming in, bill collectors are still working. I hope it can give families a deep breath.”
Cuomo said that families under duress and feeling the financial crunch during the outbreak will also see some relief when the state “unpauses” on Friday, May 15, and some non-essential businesses begin opening up and creating new job opportunities.
Renters are also being permitted to use security deposits to offset rent fees, with the option to pay the deposit back incrementally down the road.
“Everyone is trying to make due, and everyone has hardships,” he said. “We want to make sure those people that are the most vulnerable are protected, and one of the greatest vulnerabilities is ‘I’m not working, I can’t pay my rent, I can’t feed my family.’
“The number one issue people talk about is probably rent and fear of not being able to pay their rent and that takes it off the table until Aug. 20.”
Total hospitalizations for COVID-19 were down to approximately 8,600 statewide, a total that Cuomo called “fairly significant,” though there were 231 newly reported deaths, bringing the total in New York to 20,597 since the outbreak began in early March. (See third, fourth and fifth images above.)
“You can see how fast the hospitalization rate and infection rate rose, and we’re seeing that the downside of the mountain is a much more gentle slope than what we saw going up,” Cuomo said.
"What New Yorkers are doing is working," he continued. "We have flattened the curve. We have lowered the infection rate. We must stay the course. "If you’re going through hell, keep going.""
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