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Supreme Court Blocks CDC's Eviction Moratorium, Putting Renters Already In Financial Jeopardy At Risk

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Hundreds of thousands of renters are at risk of being kicked out of their homes after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the CDC's eviction moratorium in a 6-3 decision.

"The solution here is not extended moratoria indefinitely. The solution here is getting the rent relief money out, making sure that the $2.6 billion in money that was allocated from the federal government reaches the hands of landlords and tenants who need that help," Olga Someras, general counsel to the Rent Stabilization Association, told CBS2's Kevin Rincon.

In the ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, "our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends."

Justice Stephen Breyer, in the dissent, said the people this order was meant to protect "may end up with relatives, in shelters, or seeking beds in other congregant facilities where the doubly contagious Delta variant threatens to spread quickly."

In a statement, Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "I am very disappointed in the Supreme Court's appalling and insensitive ruling that eliminates a key line of defense for tenants facing housing insecurity during the ongoing pandemic."

Hochul said it's "urgent" that New Yorkers who need assistance to apply for rent relief.

Mayor Bill de Blasio took it a step further, calling the conservative justices of the high court "A group of right wing extremists" who "decided to throw families out of their homes during a global pandemic."

In New York, where protections are on the verge of lapsing, the Assembly speaker, Senate president and governor are in talks over what to do next. Some state lawmakers said it's time to call for a special session.

Hochul said their teams will work through the weekend to address how best to deliver relief that will impact a wide range of people.

"We've got a lot of moms with children, we've got people who lost their jobs or didn't go back full time, or were working two jobs and now are only working one. So they weren't able to pay the full rent," said Sharon Barker, VP/CEO at Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.

Barker's nonprofit said people should apply for relief through New Jersey's website, adding protections for non-payment expire Aug. 31.

"A lot of this will be converted to civil debt," said Barker. "That's going to be difficult for a lot of families, but it's better than being out on the street."

For now, all sides agree the best way to help landlords and tenants is distributing the much-needed relief funding already allocated by Congress.

CBS2's Kevin Rincon contributed to this report.

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