Alex Brook Lynn and Adam Levy talk evictions with David Brand of The Queens Daily Eagle, and assess what the city is doing (and could be doing) to help New Yorkers that face losing their home as a consequence of Coronavirus.
On Thursday, March 12, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency for New York City. He said that the city needed to brace for six months of crisis mode; gatherings of 500 people or over are now banned, Broadway is going dark, and Madison Square Garden is closing. The city is also asking restaurants, bars, and other venues to operate at 50% capacity to support “social distancing.”
This presents a major threat to the livelihood of millions of New Yorkers, as workforces reliant on this traffic brace to take a hit they are most likely unprepared for. The economic repercussions of these closures mixed with other job loss during the COVID-19 crisis are undeniable, and it is still unclear how far the city can and will go to block evictions in the private sector.
So, in the wake of these announcements, lawmakers are scrambling to protect New Yorkers who may be facing evictions or homelessness. According to Deputy Mayor for Operations, Laura Anglin, “NYCHA is not executing any warrants of eviction right now.” For the rest of New York’s renters, several efforts are in motion to ensure public health and the security of working families do not have to compete.
Read David Brand’s most recent articles on COVID-19 and homelessness and “one shot deals,” the city’s rent relief for residents facing imminent eviction.