Palmesano Blasts Administration and Legislature’s Majorities for Failure in Distributing Vital Rent Relief Funds; Passing The Buck on to Small Landlords with Eviction Moratorium Extension

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) is calling out the administration and both Majority conferences of the Legislature for their failure in distributing federally allocated funds designated for financially struggling renters and landlords. New York received over $2.6 billion from the federal government to assist landlords and renters. Shockingly, only $200 million, or 7 percent, has actually been dispersed to landlords for their loss of income over the moratorium’s past 17 months. Their abysmal management and failure from not dispersing these funds is now compounded even further by the governor and Legislature’s majorities extending the eviction moratorium yesterday another four and a half months, until Jan. 15, 2022. This action does not fix the problem; it just kicks the can down the road. It will hurt small landlords even further and will create a much larger housing crisis in the future.

“Extending the eviction moratorium is not only severely harmful to landlords and small property owners, but it’s unnecessary,” said Palmesano. “Since March, my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate Minority conferences and I have urged the administration and our democratic legislative colleagues to release these critical rent relief funds. They knew this expiration date was coming. It is inexcusable that these funds have not been distributed with over six months of time and public pressure to do so. If these funds were responsibly sent out as intended, we would not be in this position of extending this costly eviction moratorium at the expense of small property owners and landlords.

“Small landlords in our area and statewide have been devastated by the failure of ‘one-party rule’ coming out of Albany.They’ve been hurt financially by this reckless policy. Landlords have been required to continue to provide property maintenance upkeep and housing to tenants for no compensation, at the same time still having to meet their obligation to pay their mortgages, property taxes, and utility bills, even as they essentially provide tenants free housing. Many small landlords have not received rental payments in over 17 months and now will have to wait even longer due to Gov. Hochul and the Assembly and Senate Majority lawmakers’ eviction moratorium extension. This eviction moratorium, now extended again through January, has simply crushed these small landlords and property owners financially, many of whom rely on rent payments as their own source of income, retirement security, or even a way to help pay for their kids’ college education.This legislation is simply a one-sided benefit in favor of tenants at the expense of small landlords and it’s just wrong!

“My colleagues in the Majority conference often talk about the importance of fairness, justice and equity. However, I challenge them to explain how extending this moratorium another four and a half months is fair, just or equitable to the thousands of small landlords statewide who have been financially devastated by this moratorium.”