Assemblyman Robert Smullen (R,C,I,SAM -Meco) and Sen. Jim Tedisco (R,C-Glenville) have signed a letter to Gov. Cuomo urging that the renter’s moratorium on payments to landlords not be extended past the proposed end date of May 1 in an effort to support smaller local landlords and ensure their revenue stream is not compromised. The halt of rent payments throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, an effort to reduce evictions in a dangerous time, has made landlords, particularly those who own commercial properties that small businesses use, considerably more vulnerable, with little-to-no state assistance. Smullen and Tedisco believe they have a solution to the problem.

“Small businesses are the backbone of American life, yet they’ve been consistently overlooked for support opportunities throughout the fight against COVID-19,” said Smullen, a local business advocate. “In partnership with Sen. Jim Tedisco, I’m proud to present a loan-to-grant program that aims to support local and small business owners to make property rental payments and keep their doors open by paying landlords who would, in turn, repay the state, leaving the landlord free of the concern of missing tenant fees.”

“As we work to climb out of this terrible pandemic and safely re-open our economy, I’m happy to join with Assemblyman Robert Smullen to help the ‘mom and pop’ small property owners who are struggling to pay their own bills and maintain their properties as they lose out on rental income,” said Tedisco.“I have recently brought forth the concept to my Senate Conference of a rental assistance loan-to-grant program for property owners where the state provides them loans to cover missed rental payments. Under this loan-to-grant concept, if the tenants pay their back rent then the landlords would simply repay the state. If the tenant never pays the rent, then the landlord would be held harmless,”

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.