New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday brushed off the idea that New York should provide rental assistance amid the coronavirus crisis.
The third-term governor last month signed an executive order issuing a 90-day moratorium on the eviction of any residential tenant, but some warn that tenants who have lost income will face negative consequences after that time period expires.
Officials in parts of the nation have rolled out rental assistance programs to help residents harmed by the economic toll of the coronavirus crisis.
Montana also has announced rental assistance for families amid the pandemic.
But the idea didn’t take hold with Cuomo on Thursday.
“If I were the state of Montana, I would do that too,” he said. “But we’re not, we have a $13 billion deficit.”
The state reports a projected $13.3 billion revenue shortfall from the executive budget forecast released in January.
Meanwhile, some New York state lawmakers are backing legislation that aims to strengthen tenant protections.
Under the legislation, landlords would be prevented from evicting tenants for not paying rent that accumulates during the state’s declared disaster emergency and during a six-month window after the end of the emergency.
New York state continues to remain under sweeping lockdown measures that sharply curtail gatherings and require nonessential workers to stay home. The measures shuttered businesses across the state and wreaked financial havoc on the economy but have been lauded as essential to save lives and curb the spread of the virus.
A recent poll from Siena College found that 14% of voters had been laid off, and an additional 13% had someone in their household laid off.