New York's governor says he won't commit to canceling rent payments, calls his 90-day halt on evictions the 'fundamental' solution

andrew cuomo

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declined on Monday to commit to rent cancellations after a reporter asked him about the provision floated by some as a solution to economic crises caused by the coronavirus.
  • Instead, Cuomo said that his plan to halt evictions throughout the state for 90 days was the "fundamental answer that solves all of the above."
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New Yorkers hoping for rent cancellations will still owe their payments at a later date - but won't be evicted if they don't pay - as Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday declined to commit to ordering rent cancellations throughout the state.

At a briefing on Monday, Cuomo said that his policy halting evictions for 90 days provides a solution to those worried about making rent after losing their income because of the coronavirus.Advertisement

A halt on evictions is "the fundamental answer that solves all of the above," Cuomo said.

"It's not that you won't owe rent at one time, because you signed a contract, and even the people to whom you pay the rent have to pay the rent and they have expenses," Cuomo said.

A bill in the New York Senate is seeking to suspend rent payments for residential and small business tenants, if they lost employment or were forced to close, as well as mortgage payments for landlords of those tenants. The legislation has strong support among state lawmakers but would likely lack support from Cuomo, legislators told Gothamist.

With a halt on evictions, renters will still owe money at a later date but won't be evicted from their homes for lack of payment, though it's also unclear how the masses of people who became unemployed because of the coronavirus would afford to pay back multiple months of rent.

Even with evictions stopped, missed payments could have a long-term impact by harming renters' credit ratings. But, Cuomo indicated that the plan could change depending on how the coronavirus epidemic pans out. Advertisement

"No evictions for nonpayment of rent, and then we'll see where we are and we'll see how long this goes on," Cuomo said.

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