'No evictions as long as we are in the middle of the epidemic,' NY Governor Cuomo says

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday there will be "no evictions as long as we are in the middle of the epidemic" as he signed a 30-day extension of the eviction moratorium amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Office of Court Administration is reviewing the governor's executive order and will decide later Thursday if it will continue to suspend deadlines through September 4.

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Cuomo signed the executive order Wednesday night to allow state Housing Courts to continue the pause on evictions as they have done throughout the pandemic.

"We signed legislation, passed by both houses, codifying our previous executive action making it clear that New Yorkers couldn't be evicted due to a COVID-related hardship," a spokesperson said. "The order signed last night continued provisions giving the courts and litigants the leeway to suspend deadlines related to civil litigation. How and if they use this authority when it comes to eviction proceedings is up to them."

Cuomo said he will keep extending the order as long as the pandemic continues.

"I signed the law, and the law is clear," Cuomo said. "Until when? Until I say COVID is over."

Prior to the extension, hundreds of tenants who are on a rent strike and members of tenant unions across Brooklyn held a rally to demand such a shutdown on evictions and cancellation of rent.


However, not everyone is happy with the order.

Lincoln Eccles owns 14 apartment buildings in Crown Heights, and he says tenants are paying rent in half of them.

Eccles says some of his tenants are hiding behind the moratorium.

"The problem is some tenants are taking advantage of the situation," Eccles said. "They haven't paid anything in about 19 months, and we're still in court."

Eccles has tenants with COVID-19 hardship, but he says he's flexible with them on paying what they can afford.

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