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NEW YORK (WABC) — New York will let its eviction and foreclosure moratorium expire at the end of the week but will once again let people apply for eviction protection and rent relief.

The state Office of Temporary Disability Assistance reopened the application portal Tuesday, even though the state doesn’t have enough money to provide any more rent relief, absent a deluge of federal funding.

Applicants get protection from eviction while the state reviews their application.

A state judge last week ordered New York to reopen the application portal for now, as the court considers a lawsuit filed by tenants and the Legal Aid Society.

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Tenant advocates say it’s unfair for the state government to leave thousands of still-struggling New Yorkers without eviction protections, particularly as the eviction ban is about to end Saturday.

“The Center for NYC Neighborhoods is deeply concerned about the expiration of the statewide foreclosure and eviction moratorium on Saturday, Jan. 15,” CEO and Executive Director Christie Peale said in a statement. “The reality is that too many homeowners and renters remain dangerously close to losing their homes nearly two years since the COVID-19 pandemic first upended New York and its residents. The moratorium has been a critical source of stability for New Yorkers facing foreclosure or eviction, especially for Black and Brown and lower- to middle-income families who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. We hope that New York will extend the moratorium, so we can ensure a more equitable recovery for all New Yorkers. Homeowners who are in distress can contact the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) to get free assistance from community-based housing counselors or legal service providers. Visit HomeownerHelpNY.org or call 1-855-HOME-456.

Lawyers for Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration have argued it’s wrong to offer false hope to applicants whose landlords won’t receive rent relief without more aid from Washington. Hochul made clear that she plans to let the eviction moratorium expire.

“What we want to do is let people know that is concluding, very shortly,” she said. “I’m having conversations with the Legislature on what to do.”

She said New York extended its eviction moratorium last fall even as other states let theirs end, and that she and other governors, including from California, will again ask the federal government for more assistance.

Lawmakers are considering other ways to help tenants, including legislation that would make it much harder for landlords to evict tenants.

New York has spent about half of $2.4 billion in federal funding for emergency rent relief. Much of the remainder has yet to reach landlords because, according to the state, it’s having trouble contacting landlords and tenants.

New York is set to receive just $27 million in extra federal rent aid – a sliver of the nearly $1 billion Hochul sought last fall. New York City Mayor Eric Adams called the amount received so far “insulting.”

The mayor noted that the city has the highest rent in the nation and the average city resident spends 50% of their income on rent.

“I know what it is to live on the verge of homelessness,” Adams said.

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Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 owners and managers housing over 2.5 million people in New York City, said the state should keep pushing for federal aid and fully reopen housing courts.

“It’s time to end the eviction moratorium and put an end to tenants skipping the rent because there are no repercussions for not paying,” Strasburg said.

He said existing state law allows tenants to argue in court that they can’t pay rent because of a COVID-19 financial hardship.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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