New York State has a Covid-related Emergency Rental Assistance Program administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Check for eligibility here. Get a list of documents needed to apply: Spanish, English. The application process opens June 1. Help in applying will be available in Kingston. Watch this space for details.

Tenants’ rights all the time

Landlords in New York cannot evict tenants simply by telling them to move out. If a landlord wants to evict someone, they must take them to court. It is illegal for landlords to do any of the following.

  • Change the locks,
  • Padlock the doors,
  • Take out your furniture or other belongings,
  • Remove the door of the apartment or house,
  • Turn off the electricity or water, or
  • Do or threaten to do, anything else that keeps tenants out of a house or apartment.

Tenants’ rights during the pandemic

Until at least August 31 if a tenant cannot pay rent because of lost income due to Covid-19 the landlord cannot go to court to evict. This moratorium covers all tenants with or without leases or other agreements, documented or undocumented. If a building is sold, the moratorium applies to the new owner.

This flyer from Citizen Action of New York explains tenants’ rights under NY’s Covid emergency legislation. If a landlord goes to court to try to evict, tenants may ask for a ‘hardship declaration form.’

Tenants also may fill out a hardship form now and give it to a landlord if they receive an eviction notice. Eviction Free New York’s website walks you through how to complete the form in English, Spanish, and several other languages. (Eviction Free NY is a coalition of housing groups.)

Here’s what Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa told UIDN about evictions.

Learn more

This four-page flyer explaining tenants’ rights in New York State includes the information in the videos on this page.

In March 2021 more than 150 people gathered over Zoom to discuss the Housing Crisis in Ulster County. The meeting was organized by the Ulster County Coalition for Housing Justice (UCCHJ). View a 60-minute edited version of the discussion here.

Download proposals from the Ulster County Coalition for Housing Justice. (This document is 4-pages.)

Learn more about the housing crisis around the country.

The Ulster County Coalition for Housing Justice made these 5- to 6-minute videos to help tenants understand their rights. The first video below is in Spanish, the second is in English.