NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City is offering free legal advice and counsel for residents facing eviction, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.
“If you need help, call 311, because we want to get you help. We can get you legal support, and that really can help stop an eviction,” he said during his daily briefing.
The announcement came after the statewide eviction moratorium expired at midnight.
“In these next weeks you’re going to hear a lot from me calling upon our state government to create a new system to allow those who simply cannot pay for lack of income to be able to have a payment plan model that will take them into next year and allow them to pay off their rent over time when they finally have resources,” said de Blasio. “But no one should be put out on the street because they can’t pay.”
WATCH: Mayor De Blasio Discusses Eviction Moratorium
Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks said the agency contact 14,000 people who had eviction warrants before the pandemic and let them know help is available.
“The sad fact is tens of thousands of people can’t pay their rent. They were struggling before COVID and now, as the mayor said, they’ve lost their jobs, they’ve lost the ability to pay their rent,” he said.
The mayor and commissioner both pointed a finger at Washington D.C. for not securing more stimulus money.
Facing Eviction? Click Here For Legal Support
De Blasio also reminded New Yorkers to take the census before the now-Sept. 30 deadline. The city’s self-response rate is at 54.8%.
“This means if we don’t get this rate up, we are going to lose approximately half of the money and the power that New Yorkers deserve,” said the Census Deputy Director Amit Bagga.
Starting today, volunteers from the community will be knocking on doors of people who haven’t completed it online.
“As a reminder, there are absolutely no questions whatsoever about immigration, citizenship, criminal history, income, social security information or anything of the sort,” Bagga added. “Lastly, if you are a New Yorker who has left town temporarily, please remember to go online to My2020Census.gov and fill out the census using your New York City address.”