Protesters against eviction put up furniture outside NY City Hall

Protesters against eviction put furniture outside NY City Hall

  • Protesters blocked the intersection of Broadway and Park Place to demand stronger eviction protection during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Tenants and housing activists brought attention to the eviction issue by setting up a furnished living room in the middle of the street outside City Hall.
  • The demonstrators have criticized the current acts that aim to provide limited eviction protection as too landlord-friendly and riddled with legal loopholes.

The intersection of Broadway and Park Place was blocked on Thursday by dozens of tenants and activists who demanded stronger eviction protection during the coronavirus pandemic.

The demonstrators brought attention to the eviction issue by setting up a living room outside City Hall. They furnished the middle of the street with armchairs, coffee tables, and carpets while holding signs and sporting shirts with the “CancelRent” slogan.

Photo Credit: William Farrington

The street remained blocked until cops moved in around noon to arrest several protesters and clear the road. According to the NYPD, 16 people were issued summonses for disorderly conduct.

A tenants’ rights group, Housing Justice For All, declared on Facebook: “We’ve been fighting for #CancelRent and an #EvictionFreeNY for more than 6 months now and we won’t stop until we win. Our state government has continued to fail us during the worst crisis many of us have ever experienced.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had announced this week that he would extend the 90-day moratorium on evictions until January 1, 2021. However, the moratorium is about to expire with no update.

The governor also signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act in June. The act provides limited eviction protection for tenants who can prove that they could not pay rent because of the financial issues brought about by the pandemic.

Critics called out the act for being too landlord-friendly, however. They added that it had too many legal loopholes.

Around two-thirds of the resident buildings in New York are rentals.

Source: New York Post

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