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New York Leaders Ask Feds To Send Unused Emergency Rental Assistance Funds ASAP To Fend Off Eviction Moratorium

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With the state's eviction moratorium expiring on Saturday, the fate of hundreds of thousands of tenants hangs in the balance.

Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul are asking the Biden administration for help as soon as possible, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.

Adams is begging the president to help prevent moving trucks from clogging the streets and people being forced to pack up all their worldly possessions over the next few days because landlords will evict them for not paying rent in the city.

"We are about to face an additional crisis around housing in our city. COVID has hit New Yorkers hard. People are worrying over and over again where they're going to sleep and will they have a roof over their heads," Adams said.

Adams asking the Treasury Department to send unused federal emergency rental assistance funds to New York to avoid a potential calamity. The state's eviction moratorium expires Saturday and tens of thousands of residents are worried they'll be out on the street.

"New York state has only received $27 million out of the $1.1 billion the Treasury Department set aside for further assistance. That is insulting to our state. New York City has the highest rent in the nation. One-third of renters here spend 50% of their income on rent," Adams said.

The mayor's demands echoed a letter sent by Hochul, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and the governors of California and Illinois, states that represent a quarter of the nation's population and 30% of the nation's low-income renter households.

The governors argued that federal funds were allocated improperly, "...based on a grantees' total population instead of grantees' share of low-income renters, the target population for the program."

Landlords say if the feds don't cough up the dough it will also hurt small property owners.

"At the end of the day, if you don't have the resources coming in we will actually see a different kind of tsunami and that is the inability of small property owners to be able to pay their real estate taxes and they'll in fact default on their mortgage obligations," said Joseph Strasburg of the Rent Stabilization Association. "You will see more and more small property owners either being forced to sell to bottom feeders or not paying their real estate taxes."

City officials say that people with housing problems should call 311 and ask for the tenant hotline.

Late Thursday, a spokesperson for the Treasury Department said that since there is a limited amount of emergency rental assistance funds available for reallocation it would work with New York and the other states to find other sources of federal aid.

For information on legal services for New York City tenants, please click here.

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