Sen. Gianaris, Housing Advocates Call for Housing Stability Relief Fund

Housing advocates and Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) are calling for $2.2 billion to help struggling tenants and small landlords. Gianaris recently sent a letter calling on Gov. Cuomo to establish a Housing Stability Relief fund to pay owners for rent arrears and clear the debt of approximately 1.3 million households unable to make rent payments in the pandemic. Gianaris is the No. 2-ranked Democrat in the state Senate.

The $2 billion price tag for the relief fund is based on an analysis by research firm Stout and could be covered by federal funds according to housing advocates. So far, Gov. Cuomo has presented a pair of budget proposals, one based on the state receiving $15 billion in money from Washington and another, labelled a “worst-case scenario,” in which New York gets only $6 billion in COVID aid from the feds. The Legislature must approve a state budget by April 1.