NY close to approving $2.4B rent relief bill — but its rollout will be the real test

first_imgCarl Heastie, Andrew Cuomo and Andrea Stewart-Cousins. (Getty)Landlord and tenant groups say the state’s plan for disbursing more than $2 billion in rent relief is a step in the right direction, though both have concerns about its rollout. The plan, spelled out in a newly printed bill, would bar evictions and rent increases for one year in cases where landlords accept aid. Both property owners and tenants can apply, but the program does not mandate that landlords accept the money — a point of concern for tenant groups.The bill does, however, require the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to repeatedly try to get an eligible landlord to cooperate. It gives property owners 180 days to accept before directing the funds to someone else.It also provides some protection against landlords who would rather drag tenants to court rather than accept federal aid. The measure states that a landlord who refuses to accept relief within 12 months has waived the unpaid rent and can’t pursue a monetary action or judgement. Tenants are also able to use a landlord’s lack of cooperation as a defense in court.The measure allows tenants to self-attest to their eligibility, though language in the bill was vague. As of Tuesday, it indicated that federal and state regulations would determine what is permissible.Aid can cover 12 months of rent arrears accrued on or after March 13, 2020, with an additional three months available only for rent-burdened households, i.e. those who dedicate 30 percent or more of their monthly income toward rent.Cea Weaver, who leads the Housing Justice for All coalition, said the bill includes many of her organization’s priorities, including protections against evictions and explicit coverage for undocumented tenants.“But the devil is where it always is — in the details,” she added. “Without a clear mandate for landlords to accept rent relief money, and until the program is up and rolling, it remains to be seen if it can meet the scale of the crisis.”The program applies to households that have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic, whether directly or indirectly. It first prioritizes tenants who make at or below 50 percent of the area median income. Those with pending eviction cases, who live in mobile homes, who reside in a community disproportionately affected by the pandemic, are determined to be part of a vulnerable population (including victims of domestic violence and veterans), or who live in a building with 20 or fewer units are also given preferential consideration.The measure also creates an initial 30-day window with its own hierarchy of priorities. For example, those making at or less than 50 percent of the AMI who also belong to another priority group are given a first crack at funding. Further down the list are those earning 80 percent of the AMI and those who belong to another priority group.The program’s implementation will largely depend on rules and regulations issued by the OTDA. The previous state-run rent relief program was criticized for its slow rollout and failure to distribute all of the funds available. Of the $100 million available, the state only distributed $47 million. The remaining $53 million will be incorporated in the state’s budget, according to Gothamist. A representative for the office did not immediately return a message seeking comment.The bar on evictions applies to holdover cases and instances where a lease has expired, although there is an exception for owners of properties with four or fewer units. They can opt to not renew a lease if they plan to personally occupy an apartment in the immediate future.Frank Ricci, executive vice president of the Rent Stabilization Association, said the bill doesn’t specify if landlords can pursue evictions against tenants who are a nuisance in the building. His organization is also concerned by the bar on rent increases, especially in stabilized apartments. He said it is too early to tell if these provisions would drive property owners to court instead of the state, but noted legal action isn’t often their first choice.“Owners don’t want to go to court,” he said. “They want to get paid.”Contact Kathryn Brenzel CoronavirusPoliticsRent RegulationsRental Market Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Message*center_img Full Name* Tags Email Address*last_img read more

Arsenal to decide late on fitness of Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka for Liverpool clash

first_imgXhaka is nursing a leg injury (Picture: Getty)Ozil and Xhaka returned to training this week and their inclusion against Liverpool would be a big boost to Arsenal.Anfield was an unhappy hunting ground last season, with Liverpool thumping Arsenal 5-1, but Emery is not concerned with recent fortunes against the Reds.‘Each season is different,’ Emery insisted. ‘We can use last year two, three, four years ago. Advertisement Arsenal to decide late on fitness of Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka for Liverpool clash Ozil missed Arsenal’s last game through illness (Picture: Getty)Arsenal will decide on Friday if Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka will be fit enough to start against Liverpool on Saturday.Unai Emery brings his unbeaten Arsenal side to Anfield, but Ozil and Xhaka are fitness concerns.Midfielder Xhaka has been struggling with a leg problem while Ozil missed Arsenal’s last game due to illness.Asked if either Gunner would be available for selection, Emery replied: ‘We will assess them tomorrow.ADVERTISEMENT Liverpool v Arsenal: Unai Emery press conferenceTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 10:47FullscreenLiverpool v Arsenal: Unai Emery press conferencehttps://metro.co.uk/video/liverpool-v-arsenal-unai-emery-press-conference-1990872/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.‘Today (Thursday) they trained but I need tomorrow to have the last training.‘I’m positive with some players, but I don’t want to decide today or say to you today because tomorrow things may change.’AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I think [Ozil] needs to be fit, and also he is training as normal with the team – which is the first way to get fit,’ Emery added. Advertisementcenter_img Coral BarryThursday 22 Aug 2019 10:12 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link372Shares Comment Arsenal travel to Anfield on Saturday (Picture: Getty)‘Anfield is a big atmosphere, they are a very good team, they have an advantage over us for their progress and in their moments in last years.‘They have one step more feeling strong. But it’s not for us, it’s for all.‘We need to take our best performance, to go there with good feeling thinking we can achieve that individual and collective performance. We are looking to go there and show that.’MORE: Charlie Nicholas fears Liverpool will ‘expose’ Arsenal summer signing David LuizMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man Citylast_img read more