New York Extends Eviction Moratorium to 2022
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Weather: Rain is likely until noon, then turning partly sunny with temperatures rising to the mid-70s. It will be mostly clear tonight.
Alternate-side parking: In effect until Monday (Labor Day).
Credit…Brittainy Newman for The New York Times
New York State on Wednesday extended sweeping protections against evictions into next year, moving to keep hundreds of thousands of people facing financial difficulties during the pandemic in their homes.
The move appeared to be the first by a state to put in place new barriers to eviction after the U.S. Supreme Court last week rejected the Biden administration’s moratorium.
After a separate Supreme Court ruling last month blocked a key piece of New York’s previous statewide moratorium, many tenant advocates feared a wave of evictions was looming.
But the new agreement, which passed the State Legislature late Wednesday night, restores the moratorium until Jan. 15 — creating one of the most extensive such measures in the nation.
[Read more about the extended protections against evictions.]
Relief for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers
No other state has a higher share of renters than New York, with the vast majority living in New York City. More than 700,000 households are behind on rent in New York, according to a recent analysis of U.S. census data, trailing only California, where about 750,000 households are behind.
The move reflected how, even as vaccinations are helping revive many parts of the economy, the enormous amount of rent that is owed threatens to hobble the recovery, leaving large numbers of low-income residents facing debt or homelessness.
What this means for Hochul
The moratorium’s extension is Gov. Kathy C. Hochul’s most significant undertaking since she became the state’s top executive last week after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, brokered the deal to strengthen eviction protections with the Democratic leaders of the State Legislature, who often had an adversarial relationship with her predecessor.
Though lawmakers believe the legislation will conform with the Supreme Court ruling on the state’s previous moratorium, the new measures could face court challenges, with a major landlord group already threatening to file a lawsuit if they believe the legislation will curtail the rights of property owners.
And while the extended moratorium provides a temporary safeguard for renters, it might prove futile if the state doesn’t quickly distribute $2.7 billion in rent relief that has mostly languished, leaving renters and landlords with troves of unpaid bills.
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The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.
What we’re reading
New York City’s education department will screen nearly 200,000 children in kindergarten through second grade to find struggling readers this fall. [Chalkbeat New York]
A Brooklyn woman was shot by two men on Razor scooters,the police said. [New York Post]
A 9-year-old boy in Queens was killed after being trapped in a fire started by a charging e-bike battery. [New York Daily News]
And finally: Black surfers find healing in the waves
The Times’ Diane Cardwell writes:
On an overcast day on the cusp of summer last year, a group of surfers gathered on a historically Black beach known as the Ink Well in Santa Monica, Calif., with messages written on their boards. They were preparing for a paddle-out — a ritual for surfers to honor the dead — in the aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd. The messages on their boards read “Black Lives Matter” and listed the names of those killed by law enforcement.
“It’s just been a battle to survive, all of it, all of the time, just for the right to be,” Sharon Schaffer, the first Black woman to become a professional surfer, said that day in an emotional speech. She was referring to the racism she’s experienced in surfing and in her career as a Hollywood stunt woman and actor.
“I had to develop a voice right away to scream: ‘I got it — it’s mine, my wave,’” she said, and the assembled surfers cheered in response. “I have a right to be on this wave.”
On Presidents’ Day of this year, an argument in Manhattan Beach, Calif., over wave priority turned ugly when a white man repeatedly called Justin Howze, a Black musician who goes by the name Brick, and his fellow Black surfer, Gage Crismond, a racial slur. The incident inspired Mr. Howze and Mr. Crismond to organize a paddle-out in protest, which attracted well over 100 Black surfers.
These recent paddle-outs raised awareness both of the fact that Black people do indeed surf and that they often do so in the face of hostilities both subtle and overt.
Of course, Black people surf for the same reasons as anyone else — the feeling of weightlessness and propulsion, of being in perfect harmony with the energy of the wave. But surfing with other Black people can also foster a profound sense of healing, of being seen and understood, and of finding kinship through an experience shared with people who know your culture and history in an ocean that your ancestors may have traversed.
It’s Thursday — get pitted, dude.
Metropolitan Diary: Rookie mistake
My first job when I moved to New York was as a bicycle messenger. For all the negatives, at least I got into good shape and learned my way around town.
The rumor was that they gave rookies the toughest routes. And I was a rookie.
“Pick up the package at Broadway and 125th Street and deliver it to Broadway and Wall Street,” the dispatcher said.
Done. I called in from a pay phone for the next job.
“Pick up the letter at Lexington and 68th and deliver it to Amsterdam and 150th Street.”
And so on. One letter, one package at a time. Not the many letters and light packages that the veterans got, in sequential order: 10 in a row, maybe more — and a real row, north to south.
At one point, heading down Broadway just south of Times Square, racing cabs and buses, as well as other bike messengers, I got ready to turn onto 38th Street. I held out my left hand, signaling to all what I was about to do.
“Don’t do that!” yelled a bike messenger next to me. He was dressed in elbow pads and duct tape and was obviously a pro. “Nobody cares about you and what you’re planning to do! Never let go of your handlebars!”
“OK,” I yelled back. “Thanks for the advice!”
Just then, as I turned, I glanced back at him.
With his right hand, he was grabbing onto the rear bumper of a delivery truck, catching a free ride as far as he wanted down Broadway.
— Doug Sylver
Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Read more Metropolitan Diary here.
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