Catholic Charities steps in as NYC loosens eviction restrictions

CNA Staff, Jun 22, 2020 / 07:30 pm (CNA).- As New York City’s eviction moratorium expires for some people affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Catholic Charities has warned that many low-income residents may face risk of eviction.

New York City’s original moratorium on landlords evicting tenants for non-payment of rent concluded on June 20. It will be extended until August 20, but only for some people.

Antonio Garcia, director of the Preserving Housing program at Catholic Charities of New York, warned that many people in the city could be at risk of eviction. He said the evicted moratorium will be extended for those who have received unemployment benefits from the government, but not others who have been affected by the pandemic, without collecting unemployment benefits.

“Nobody knows the magnitude of the problem yet, what we could see is a spike in people facing eviction in New York City,” said Garcia, according to Net TV.

Every year, more 200,000 cases of non-payment are taken up in the New York Housing Court, and 9% of these cases result in evictions, according to Catholic Charities. Garcia thinks the number of evictions could double with the moratorium lifting.

Tatiana, a professional working with adults who have developmental disabilities, told Net TV that many of her clients will not qualify for the moratorium because they did not make enough money to apply for unemployment, even though the pandemic has left them jobless.

She called the system unfair, saying her clients “have to feed their families and they have bills that they can’t catch up on.”

Catholic Charities of New York said it will continue to be a resource for at-risk tenants and help seek long-term solutions to rent-payment concerns.

“We help clients find the resources to pay the rental arrears, we also mediate with landlords to find a solution, sometimes landlords are willing to abate some of those rental arrears,” said Garcia, according to Net TV.

“We have employment specialists who can help them, we also have a tenant education program that helps people with budget management.”


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