Almost 2,000 evicted in Hudson Valley in 2020
Cloey Callahan reports in the Times Union that there were 1,957 evictions in Putnam, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia, Greene, and Sullivan counties in 2020, according to the New York Unified Court System. New York had an eviction moratorium because of the COVID-19 pandemic during much of the year. So the number was about a third of the 6,020 evictions in 2019. The eviction moratorium continues until at least Jan. 15, 2022, but it appears that at least some evictions continued even with the moratorium in place. By mid-September this year, New York had distributed $399 million in rental assistance to tenants to give to landlords, and now Gov. Kathy Hochul is asking the federal government for more help. But the moratorium and the federal aid for landlords did not help everyone. “We saw people who would come to us the day before they’re about to be evicted by the sheriff,” said Justin Haines, Attorney in Charge for Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s Dutchess County branch. “They didn’t know anything about the ERAP program or their right to be protected from eviction. We would do emergency motions to stop eviction and give them time to apply for those kinds of programs.” And the Hudson Valley's housing crisis -- demand is soaring while supply is limited by climate change-fueled storm damage to buildings, and spaces being used for short-term rentals instead of for people living locally -- has made the situation worse. “I don’t think the average person understands how changed the rental and home sale market has been as a result to the pandemic,” said Haines. “We’ve seen a tremendous impact of people moving out of New York City and to the Hudson Valley.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.