Mediation Program Launches in NYC in an Attempt to Help People about to be Evicted
Anticipating a serious problem in the coming weeks in the city, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a mediation program to help landlords and tenants deal with potential evictions The goal is to prevent people who cannot afford their rent due to COVID-19 avoid eviction.
There are currently more than two million New York City residents who have filed for unemployment since March when business closures due to the pandemic began. Many of these people are not receiving unemployment, as well as an addition $600 in federal UE benefits. But the $600 a week of support is set to expire August 1st, at the same time the New York State moratorium on evictions is set to expire.
Mayor de Blasio recently described the situation in a press briefing, stating, “There are so many people who now don’t have any money to pay the rent because their jobs are long gone, and they don’t know when they’re going to come back, and they’re worried about being evicted. We are about to go over a cliff here in this city in terms of people potentially losing their housing, and we have to stop it.”
The city-wide mediation program will provide tenants and landlords an opportunity to discuss the details of their situations and avoid court. The neighborhoods in the city hardest hit by the pandemic will be prioritized. The goal of the mediation program is to help resolve issues without forcing landlords to use eviction or without involving the housing court.