As the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the state, many New Yorkers who rent were gradually unable to make their monthly payments as they were furloughed from their jobs and left out of work for what is now two months.

Fortunately, renters who owe to their landlords got a break Thursday as officials extended a state moratorium two months Thursday mandating New Yorkers cannot be evicted for not paying rent through Aug. 20 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The mandate includes residential and commercial renters.

Shelter nearly became the odd man out in the effort to keep food supplies rolling and preserve access to basic necessities, but rent is becoming a premiere issue. Families are struggling, and nobody wants to see families and children evicted at this time through no fault of their own.

The moratorium extension also covers late payments or fees for missed rent payments and allows renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.

Renters are not the only concern. Landlords will face hardships as well. The state is working to secure relief for banks so landlords do not have to worry about foreclosures.

Counties and municipalities are laying off employees, many of whom are renters with families. The mounting financial losses are jeopardizing the livelihoods, not to mention the lives, of working families all over New York.

Extending the moratorium on evictions for not paying rent through Aug. 20 is a fair and compassionate move.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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