With New York’s eviction and foreclosure moratorium set to expire Saturday, Brooklyn’s Congressional representatives have called on Governor Kathy Hochul to extend the moratorium saying that ending will put hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers at risk of eviction.

Meanwhile, around two dozen protesters were arrested outside Hochul’s office Friday night, Pix 11 reports, as they protested the end of the moratorium that was first put in place to protect renters and homeowners from facing eviction during the pandemic.

In a letter addressed to Hochul, Senate President Andrea Stewart-Cousin and Speaker Carl Heastie, the 12 Congressional delegates, including Reps. Yvette Clarke, Nydia M. Velázquez, Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries, wrote: “We respectfully urge New York State, under your leadership, to extend the eviction and foreclosure moratorium set to expire on January 15, 2022.”

“Exacerbated by the pandemic, New York has been facing a housing instability crisis. Now, without another extension, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are at risk of losing their homes.”

The group adds they are “deeply concerned not only with the massive disruptive impact this will have on so many people’s lives, but also with the public safety implications given the recent sharp rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant.”

New York State has the highest share of renter households in the U.S. at 46%, with 63% of those households located in New York City. According to the National Equity Atlas, as of October 2021, approximately 591,000 households across New York State are behind on rent.

Of that total number, 79% are from low-income households and 72% are people of color, the group explains.

“The protections provided by the eviction moratorium are extremely necessary to New Yorkers, particularly to low-income and minority communities who would be disproportionately affected by the end of the moratorium.”

The letter adds that stable and affordable housing is necessary for families and communities to succeed, citing a study that shows a connection between higher rates of eviction and higher incidences of homicides, robberies, and burglaries. It also cites research that shows women are at higher risk of eviction than men, often causing children to experience the destabilizing effects homelessness.

“We believe an extension of the eviction moratorium – while seeking to expeditiously reallocate federal Emergency Rental Assistance dollars to high-need states – is the best solution to ensure the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers, especially as we continue through the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brings forth,” the group writes.

“We share your commitment to deliver housing stability for New Yorkers, and therefore we urge you to take the necessary actions within your power to extend the eviction and foreclosure moratorium.”

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Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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