State Extends, Expands Eviction and Foreclosure Bans Credited with Saving Thousands of Lives
Above: Belongings of a homeless person. Below: State Senator Brian Kavanagh: “We are delivering real protection for countless renters and homeowners who would otherwise be at risk of losing their homes.”
The State legislature has enacted, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed, a measure designed to provide relief for rental tenants and homeowners experiencing financial hardship as a result of ongoing pandemic coronavirus.
At a special session on December 28, the State Senate’s Democratic majority opened a special session to ratify the the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act. The measure, which had been passed earlier by the State Assembly, was signed into law on the same day by Mr. Cuomo.
The law imposes a standstill on residential evictions through May 1, provided that can document a “COVID-related hardship.” (Renters who are unable to provide this proof are still subject to eviction.) Also frozen until May 1 are residential foreclosure proceedings. During that period, both homeowners can offer hardship declarations in court to forestall a bank seeking to seize their property.
This measure takes up where a nationwide federal ban on evictions (imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September) left out. The national moratorium was originally set to expire on December 31, although Congress subsequently extended it through the end of January.
The New York State bill was spearheaded by Senator Brian Kavanagh, who chairs the Senate Housing Committee. “From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said, “we have understood that housing security must be an essential part of our effort to protect the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers. By enacting this comprehensive residential eviction and foreclosure moratorium, we are delivering real protection for countless renters and homeowners who would otherwise be at risk of losing their homes, adding to the unprecedented hardship that so many are facing.”
The new law was hailed by housing advocates, with a spokesman for the Lower Manhattan-based Legal Aid Society saying, “this critical legislation — which establishes one of the strongest statewide eviction moratoriums in the country — will defend hundreds of thousands of families from eviction and homelessness.
The stakes appears to be significant in more than just the obvious ways. A December report, “Expiring Eviction Moratoriums and COVID-19 Incidence and Mortality,” from the Social Science Research Network concluded that the earlier ban on evictions saved the lives of a large number New Yorkers between May and September. The review used statistical analysis to determine that out of the total number of tenants who would have been facing eviction if no ban had been in place, more than 10,000 would have been likely perish from COVID-19 after losing their homes.
Whatever Floats Your Boat
During Pandemic and Revenue Shortfall, City Hall Prioritizes Plans for New Ferry
Amid a massive budget crunch that may require laying off several thousand City employees and slashing services, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has nonetheless found room in municipal coffers to move ahead with plans for a new subsidized ferry that will connect Staten Island with Battery Park City, and Midtown.
Construction began in December at the Staten Island site of a new landing for the planned service, which was originally slated to begin running before the close of 2020, but has now been pushed back to the summer of this year, due to logistical complications caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Questions about What’s In Store for Local Retail Point to Glum Answer: Not Much
Small businesses aren’t the only ones hurting in Lower Manhattan. Large national retailers are also shuttering their local stores in record numbers, according to a new report from the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a public policy think tank that uses data-driven research to bring attention to overlooked issues. The analysis documents that the number of chain stores in Lower Manhattan decreased dramatically during the past 12 months, with a total of 63 national retailers shutting their doors permanently.
Confederate Battle Flag Found Tied to Front Door of Museum of Jewish Heritage
The “stars and bars” standard flown by the army of the Confederate States of America, as they battled to preserve slavery during the Civil War, was found tied to the front door of Battery Park City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage (MJH) on Friday morning.
1) 17 Battery Place, application for renovation of existing entry and storefront including replacement of entrance infill and new louvers – Resolution
Appeals Court Upholds Order Delaying Move of Homeless Men to FiDi
On Tuesday, a five-judge panel of the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division affirmed an earlier ruling (issued on December 3), which has the effect of halting once again the planned transfer of more than 200 men from the Lucerne Hotel, on the Upper West Side, to the Radisson Wall Street Hotel, located at 52 William Street. This order amounts to a partial victory for both sides in the lawsuit, granting some of what opponents of the plan were seeking, while also allowing the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio limited latitude to begin implementing its proposal on a smaller scale than originally envisioned.
The dead menhaden fish that bobbed at the surface of the water off Lower Manhattan and throughout the Hudson-Raritan Estuary and Long Island Sound during the month of December are gone now. But the concern remains. What killed the fish?
Scientists in the region are putting forth theories. To read more…
Architects Propose to Reclaim Park Tribeca Lost Nearly a Century Ago
Community Board 1 (CB1) is supporting a plan to create a new park in Tribeca, within the Holland Tunnel Rotary, the six-acre asphalt gyre of exit ramps that connects traffic from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan’s street grid.
The husband-and-wife architecture team of Dasha Khapalova and Peter Ballman are proposing to create a constellation of small, street-level parks at the corners of the complex (bounded by Hudson, Laight, and Varick Street, as well as Ericson Place) which will double as entry points for a new, submerged central plaza. This plaza is anachronously known as St. John’s Park, although it has not been a publicly accessible space since the Holland Tunnel opened, 94 years ago.
Early nightfall and late sunup beckon to stargazers before days lengthen
The last of the longest nights of the year are bookended by planet Venus taking final bows in early morning twilight in the southeast and planets Jupiter and Saturn poised at the edge of the southwest skyline in afternoon dusk. The latest sunrises of the year – 7:20am through January 10 – and early sunsets, around 4:40pm, motivate this stargazer to greet starry skies, mostly in short jaunts or from a window or balcony, during morning darkness and half-light, 6am to 6:50am, and in the afternoon from just after 5pm – 5:40. To read more…
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Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found