Thanks to a tremendous organizing effort by housing advocates, there is a 90 day eviction moratorium for residential and commercial tenants in New York State as of March 20, 2020 until at least June 20, 2020. This means you can NOT be evicted at least until June 20th even if you do not pay rent. All eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders have been suspended indefinitely. Housing Court will suspend normal activity and no new eviction cases can be started and no marshal’s notices can be carried out. Each borough will have one judge handling emergency cases including illegal lockout cases, emergency HP Actions and post eviction cases.
Anyone in this situation can call Housing Court Answers‘ hotline with questions about court or evictions at 212-962-4795. The Met Council on Housing will continue to operate a Tenant Rights Hotline (available in English and Spanish) at 212-979-0611 to educate tenants about their rights which are especially critical as many will be facing a loss of income and trouble making rent. Many tenants don’t know about the eviction moratorium and/or have questions about how it works. The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition has made an FAQ section available on their website to address questions about the eviction moratorium: https://www.righttocounselnyc.org/moratorium_faq. You can also always call the Housing Court Answers hotline at 212-962-4795 with any questions.
EMERGENCY HP ACTION
JustFix.nyc has announced Emergency HP Action, a new tool empowering tenants against landlords who are neglecting essential repairs or harassing tenants. Emergency HP Action allows tenants to sue landlords from any device that connects to the internet– saving a trip to Housing Court. Learn more here.
RENT ARREARS, HOUSING & PUBLIC ASSISTANCE
If your work schedule was reduced as a result of the coronavirus and you are unable to pay your rent, you can apply for a Cash Assistance special grant request to get benefits for emergencies. If you have an active Cash Assistance case, visit ACCESS HRA.
Tenants’ Rights for Tenants with COVID-19 or Under Home-Quarantine
Resources are available to you if you are a tenant in New York City and are facing hardship due to COVID-19. The City is here to help you maintain stable housing. Learn more about tenants’ rights for tenants with COVID-19 or under home-quarantine.
New York City Housing Authority
NYCHA residents that experience a loss of income may qualify for a rent reduction. Households that have experienced a complete income loss may qualify for the Zero Income Policy.
City of New York COVID-19 Hotel Program
The City of New York’s COVID-19 Hotel Program provides select individuals and groups a place to stay to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In order to fight the spread of COVID-19 within households that are in particularly high-risk communities, the City is offering 11,000 free hotel rooms for people who need to quarantine. These will be targeted in particular to people in overcrowded homes, health care workers regardless of symptoms, and New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. The Governor is issuing an Executive Order allowing individuals assisting with the COVID-19 response or those who have been displaced due to COVID-19 to stay in New York City hotels for more than 28 days without becoming a tenant. Community healthcare providers have started referring clients in need of a place to isolate to the City’s new hotel isolation program. Healthcare providers designated by the New York City Health Department can book eligible patients for a hotel stay so that their patients can recover from COVID-19 while isolating from members of their household. So far, the following providers have joined the program:
Current designated providers:
- Morris Heights Health Center (MHHC) – physical locations in Melrose, Mott Haven, Highbridge, Morris Heights, Longwood, North Baychester, Co-op City, and Jerome Park
- Brightpoint Health (aka Hudson River Health Care) – serves the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island
- Damian Family Health Center – serves the Bronx and Queens
- Union Community Health Center
- East Harlem Council for Human Services
- The Floating Hospital
- Covenant House
- Institute for Family Health
The City is working to expand the list of designated providers. Please check back for updates.
In order to ensure New Yorkers who use Section 8 rental assistance vouchers have undisrupted access to housing, the City will automatically extend any Section 8 voucher set to expire. Voucher holders do not need to reach out to the City for an extension. All subsidy terminations that are in process are suspended until further notice.
Any HPD Section 8 voucher holders facing rent hardships due to decreases in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299 for assistance. Building owners with Section 8 questions should email DTROS@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-8526.
NYCHA has issued a moratorium on residential evictions and adjourned all current cases. NYCHA encourages households experiencing a partial loss of income to access their rent hardship program by completing an Interim Recertification via the NYCHA Self-Service Portal or by calling their Property Management Office to request a paper form be mailed.
If your household experiences a complete loss of income, you may qualify for NYCHA’s Zero Income Policy.
The current crisis has amplified the many challenges experienced by individuals facing homelessness. The Partnership for the Homeless prevents people from experiencing homelessness by helping them avert crisis and focus on long-term stability. The Partnership’s programs focus on services that keep people in their homes, offer health-related support to cultivate long-term stability and education interventions to help interrupt the generational cycle of homelessness. They provide a range of services including eviction prevention, housing support, financial assistance, legal assistance/referral, landlord/tenant mediation, housing subsidies assistance/referrals, and income support & benefits. During the coronavirus emergency response, they continue to serve current and new clients. One-on-one and group meetings will be held virtually. If you’re facing eviction, have rental arrears, or need legal or income support, get help by calling 212-645-3444 x2237 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are about to become homeless, Homebase can help you stay out of shelter. Homebase offers:
- Services to prevent eviction
- Assistance obtaining public benefits
- Emergency rental assistance
- Education and job placement assistance
- Financial counseling and money management
- Help relocating
- Short-term financial assistance
Mayor de Blasio has called for a rent freeze for 2.3 million tenants in nearly 1 million rent-stabilized units across the City. The City will work with the State to suspend the Rent Guidelines Board process for the coming year, which will maintain all regulated rents at their current level for these tenants. The NYC Rent Freeze Program, which includes the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) Program, helps those eligible stay in affordable housing by freezing their rent. For help enrolling in the Department of Finance’s rent freeze (SCRIE/DRIE) and homeowner tax exemption programs (SCHE/DHE/VHE/CHE), visit the NYC Rent Freeze Unit Website.
HOMEOWNERS & LANDLORDS
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Department of Financial Services has issued a directive to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus. The directive includes:
- Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship;
- No negative reporting to credit bureaus;
- Grace period for loan modification;
- No late payment fees or online payment fees; and
- Postponing or suspending foreclosures.
Additionally, the Governor has asked DFS to instruct state-chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees, and fees for credit cards to help lessen the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.
Tax Lien Sale
The City announced that the tax lien sale, previously scheduled for mid-May, will be postponed until at least August as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The lien sale is administered by the NYC Department of Finance, which sells overdue property taxes, water and sewer charges, and other property charges to a non-profit trust. The agency sends out four warning notices to property owners starting three months prior to the sale, alerting them that the property is at risk of being on the lien sale list. More than 80 percent of owners pay the full amount owed, enter into payment plans, or obtain an exemption that removes them from the at-risk pool. DOF also advertises at-risk properties and conducts extensive outreach to property owners at risk of having their liens sold, often partnering with community groups and elected officials to reach as many property owners as possible.
Property Tax Assistance
The New York City Department of Finance offers several programs to assist property owners who face hardships making their property tax payments. These include exemption programs to lower the amount of taxes owed, standard payment plan options as well as the Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program, for one-to three-family home and condominium owners who have fallen behind on their property tax payments.
Property Tax and Interest Deferral program (PT AID)
Property owners who qualify for the Property Tax and Interest Deferral program can defer their property tax payments, or pay only a small percentage of their income, to ensure they stay in their home. The PT AID program defers property tax payments for a given length of time, depending on each applicant’s situation. Through the program, payment of property taxes can be deferred for a fixed length of time for a temporary hardship, or for a longer period due to a chronic hardship. The amount each property owner can defer paying is limited to a maximum of 25% of the owner equity of a one-, two-, or three-family home, or up to 50% of the equity of a condominium unit. Applications and more information about property payment plan applications can be found here. Completed applications and supporting documentation for both standard payment plans and the PT AID program can be emailed to PTAID@finance.nyc.gov or mailed to: Department of Finance, Payment Plans, 59 Maiden Lane, 28th Floor, New York, NY 10038.
COVID-19: FAQ for Residential and Commercial Buildings
This document provides answers for residential and commercial building owners and managers to frequently asked questions about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).