NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thousands of New York City residents are at risk of eviction amid fears of a potential second wave of COVID-19.
While there is a moratorium in effect, eviction cases are being heard every day in court, CBS2’s Cory James reported.READ MORE: 'Today, I Can Rejoice': New Yorkers Hit The Streets After Jury Finds Derek Chauvin Guilty In George Floyd's Death
“I’ve gone to sleep hungry. It has just been hard to make ends meet,” Allilsa Fernandez said.
Fernandez was standing outside her Jamaica, Queens apartment on Wednesday, holding eviction papers that her landlord recently filed with the New York City court system.
“And then to add this stress,” Fernandez said.
She said this all started at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic when she could no longer go for a full-time position at work and her roommate lost their job.
“I have a part-time, but it doesn’t cover enough. How do you prove that you had a job lined up?” Fernandez said.
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According to Legal Aid Society attorney Ellen Davidson, thousands of tenants are in the same boat because of the partial eviction moratorium that Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended last month.
It states tenants are protected until Jan. 1.
However, Davidson said the renter must prove their unemployment status, loss of income or inability to pay rent is the result of COVID-19.READ MORE: Activists Celebrate Conviction Of Derek Chauvin In George Floyd's Death, But Say Fight Is Not Over: 'Tomorrow, We Still Have To Dismantle Systemic Oppression'
Davidson said there are roughly 14,000 outstanding evictions in New York City, and currently 1,500 landlords have filed a motion to evict tenants. Nearly 600 of those cases are in the Bronx.
“They will be out of a home, into the streets, have nowhere to go,” Davidson said.
That’s happening at a time when COVID-19 cases are starting to rise, something housing advocate Andrea Shapiro said could become more problematic once more eviction cases are heard and approved by a judge.
“They are going to go live with friends and family, double and triple up and that is where we’ve seen COVID spreading in New York City,” Shapiro said.
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For now, Fernandez is waiting on her court hearing that she said has her fearing the worst and a return to a life she once lived but worked hard to leave behind.
“Eviction, which means homelessness, I’ve been in that position before,” Fernandez said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen and when you’re going to be evicted. It’s horrible. It’s horrific. It’s traumatizing.”
CBS2 reached out to Fernandez’s landlord and Gov. Cuomo’s office, but did not immediately hear back.
Housing attorneys and advocates are hoping Cuomo will return to a full moratorium to protect all New Yorkers.MORE NEWS: Police: Gabriel Dewitt Wilson In Custody After Deadly Shooting At West Hempstead Stop & Shop
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