Some local landlords haven't seen rent in a year, from tenants whose circumstances didn't change and who have not suffered a pandemic-related hardship. They say some tenants flaunt the fact that they can't make them leave....or....evict them. On Monday, state lawmakers will vote on extending the eviction moratorium through August.
"I don't support this. I didn't support it in December," says Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon. "I have worked with many of my colleagues in the Assemby as many agree as I that we need to do something different. This is not the answer."
Senator Joseph Griffo, too, has concerns.
"I don't know what the final bill will look like. I am hesitant right now to support the bill as it was presented to continue the moratorium, based upon the fact that I believe there has to be a balance with the tenant and the landlord," says Senator Griffo.
Oneida County officials say help is on the way for unpaid landlords; $6.7, which they expect will be available mid-May, through and online portal. Tenants or landlords can apply, but the money won't go through the tenants.
"The checks are gonna be cut to the landlords so the money is going directly to the landlords; it's not passing through the tenants," says Oneida County Department of Social Services Commissioner, Colleen Fahy-Box.
Tenants, however, will have to be involved in the process, at a minimum, to attest to the fact that they live in a certain apartment or house. Oneida County will work with an outside vendor to provide outreach to hesitant tenants, explaining why it's in their best interest to work with landlords.
"It doesn't negatively impact the tenant to do it," says Commissioner Fahy-Box. "It's still a debt they owe, so they're gonna owe this debt, it could follow you, if you got a job, you could have your paychecks sanctioned or whatever."