BLACK RIVER — On Wednesday, Albany Democrats shamelessly extended the eviction moratorium through Jan. 15, 2022. Not only was this decision reckless, but it was unnecessary.
New York received more than $2.6 billion in federal funds earlier in the year that were allocated for both struggling renters and landlords. Since March, my colleagues and I have shouted from the rooftops that these funds need to be released and put directly into our communities. Up to this point, both former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Kathy Hochul have failed to release any significant amount of these funds.
The inability and ineffectiveness of the executive branch to release these funds is what has brought us to this day where the majority is extending the moratorium once again. Since the beginning of this pandemic, more than 18 months ago, Democrats have left our small landlords in the dust.
For New York City Democrats, it is hard to understand that our landlords do not own massive skyscraper properties or million dollar condominium units. Our small landlords rely on rental payments to put food on the tables for their families, and many of them rely on their rental payments as their main source of income.
In her introduction to the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul said that she would usher in a new era of transparency into Albany. Unfortunately, the actions of the majority and her office on extending the moratorium fly directly in the face of transparency. The extension through Jan. 15 was a deal cut behind closed doors with only Democratic leadership involved.
The actual bill was only given to the entire Legislature just hours before we were to vote on it. How does this process positively affect our constituents? How does this process resemble any sort of transparency?
I will continue to advocate for our small landlords who have continuously called my office to explain the dire straits that state government has put them in. Extension of the eviction moratorium through mid-January is not only reckless but poor economic policy.
At that point in time, it will be nearly two years since small landlords have received their rental payments in full. It brings us ever closer to the far left’s dream of “canceling rent.” Undoubtedly, this policy would throw our state into a full blown housing crisis.
If you have any questions on this issue, please feel free to reach out to my office at email@example.com or 315-493-3909.
Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-Black River, represents the 117th District in the state Assembly.