NEW YORK CITY — Hundreds of tenants and renters rallied Monday outside newly opened Housing Courts across New York City to protest the end of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s eviction moratorium, which expired Saturday.
Housing advocates fear up to 50,000 new eviction cases could be filed after the moratorium lifts, spurring protesters to demand the eviction ban continue until the COVID-19 crisis ends.
“Housing is healthcare,” organizers from Housing Justice For All wrote in their online petition. “Right now it’s critical that every New Yorker is safely housed.”
Cuomo’s stay-at-home order caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of New York City jobs, leaving tenants without means to pay rent and fearing eviction when Housing Court reopens.
In New York City, currently facing a reckoning on how it polices communities of color, housing advocates say evictions are most likely to target Black and brown renters.
Protesters gathered outside Housing courts across the five boroughs and in upstate New York to demand Cuomo extend the moratorium, which currently protects only those who can prove COVID-19 caused them financial hardship.
Fifty New York City lawmakers have also called on Cuomo to extend the moratorium.
Protesters also called on Cuomo to cancel rent for the duration of the crisis, but Cuomo aligned himself with landlords he said must continue to pay property taxes, utility bills, and mortgages.