NYC landlords call for financial relief

While tenants call for another extension to Governor Cuomo's eviction moratorium, landlords are seeking some relief of their own. Many say that while their tenants receive state protection - the banks are still calling them to collect.

“I’m going through a roller coaster ride with what’s going on, and there is no assistance that is coming specifically for the landlord,” says Frank Acri, a landlord on Staten Island.

Acri owns a two-family home and says his tenants stopped paying rent back in December, but things got worse once the pandemic hit. He has not received a penny from his tenants in all these months and the state's eviction moratorium prohibits him from evicting them.

"I’m just expected not to collect anything," Acri said.

Acri is calling on the state to help him and other landlords across the city. He says his bills keep piling up and there is no relief in sight. He claims he owns the bank about $20,000, a significant amount of money that keeps him up at night.

Acri told FOX 5 NY that he has reached out to his mortgage company to work something out.

"I get a letter saying x amount of dollars are due, then they follow up a couple of weeks later after I make some phone calls with a letter that says due to the COVID-19 situation we are going to forbear it to another time, not necessarily to the end of the mortgage at least to another time," said Acri.

“The government can’t just keep kicking the can down the road,” said Michael Johnson, the communication director for the Community Housing Improvement program.

According to Johnson, 19% of residential tenants were not able to pay any rent in September.

He says the government needs to come up with a solution and fast.

"They need to come up with some kind of solution whether that’s vouchers for renters so they can get their arrears paid, and building owners pay some of the expenses or if it’s going to be property tax relief for owners in exchange for some kind of rent forgiveness for renters," Johnson said.

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A spokesperson for the New York State Homes & Community Renewal told FOX 5 NY in a statement: "New York State, facing a $62 billion, four-year revenue loss due entirely to the pandemic, has been calling on the federal government to deliver funding to offset these losses and despite promises, they’ve done nothing. New Yorkers need the federal government to act responsibly and deliver the resources we need to support them.”

The New York State Homes & Community Renewal also provided the following information:

  • In May, the Governor introduced the New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF), a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS ON PAUSE.
  • Access to loans for small landlords is targeted to owners with residential buildings of 50 units or less, and will prioritize loans for landlords whose properties are in low and moderate-income census tracts or who serve low to moderate-income tenants. For additional information visit the web site here.
  • The Governor also enacted legislation that extended residential hardship mortgage forbearance and flexible payment options under S8428. For answers to frequently asked questions about the Mortgage Forbearance Statute, visit the website here.
  • Additional foreclosure relief may be available through the federal CARES Act. For more information see the DFS web site here.

The State continues to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York State and remains focused on providing relief to New York’s families to help ease the burden they face. As the Governor has said several times, federal unrestricted aid to states and localities is critical to help stabilize the economy.