Assemblyman Robert Smullen (R,C,I,SAM-Meco) was part of a press conference to call for an end to the eviction moratorium imposed by Gov. Cuomo at the start of the pandemic last year. Although the idea began with good intentions, Smullen believes the time for pausing rent payments is causing real damage to our small business landlords, and will further harm renters even more once the moratorium is lifted.

“Despite the relief tenants have been receiving as a result of this moratorium, the fact is that state policy has only shifted the pandemic response burden to landlords,” Smullen said. “There may be corporate landlords who profit from renters in New York City,  but the majority of our landlords are “Mom and Pop” small businesses who are now having a hard  a time making ends meet with taxes, insurance and maintenance costs.”

Smullen says that despite the moratorium, renters who have been benefiting from it will now be faced with a mountain of back payments, which will be just as much of a challenge to manage. “I’m glad people weren’t evicted in the middle of a pandemic, especially with the job losses it incurred, but I’m equally worried that those who haven’t paid a single rent check over the last year will now have the full tent due.  We must immediately release the state money for renters which was provided in the budget, and ensure that landlords get paid their past due rent.  It will also be helpful to open the courts so due process can proceed.” Smullen concluded.

Assemblyman Robert Smullen represents the 118th Assembly District, which includes Hamilton and Fulton counties as well as parts of Herkimer, Oneida, and St. Lawrence counties.