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Protesters to oppose end of eviction moratorium

Mike Desmond

New York's moratorium on evictions ended Saturday and housing courts open Monday. Demonstrators will be in front of Buffalo City Court this morning to oppose evictions.

The national lockdown shut down the income of a lot of people, millions nationally. Many are low income, just making it even in a booming economy.

Now there is no money coming in and rent clearly takes a lower place to food and other basics. Of course, no rent also has an effect on the landlords, large or small.

Led by the statewide Housing Justice for All coalition, there will be a series of anti-eviction protests across the state. That includes one outside Buffalo City Court.

People's Action Organizer John Washington said the problem is widespread across Buffalo.

"There is a significant issue on the West Side, on the East Side and, honestly, even in other communities, because even if you have a good job, well, if you haven't been working, you haven't been getting a paycheck," Washington said. "Iit's hard to keep up with all your bills and, again, we should be focused on public health right now, not necessarily making money."

Washington said the problem of coming up with the rent is common in minority communities, but is also occurring in more affluent areas where even people with good jobs are having financial problems because their checks have stopped. He says landlords and tenants have to work together on a solution, but adds that many property owners are much larger organizations that don't really know who their tenants are.

He said Albany needs to solve the problem.

"Governor Cuomo has not extended the eviction moratorium. Governor Cuomo has made no effort to cancel rent and reconcile the issues during the COVID crisis of people not having enough money to pay their rent and of mass evictions being a health crisis," Washington said. "This is not a time when we need thousands of people, especially the poorest people, moving out of their homes."


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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