Landlords gear up for evictions in St. Lawrence County

WWNY Landlords gear up for evictions in St. Lawrence County

CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Hundreds in St. Lawrence County are behind on rent. The state’s eviction moratorium ends April 30. Landlords are gearing up to seek evictions.

Coming soon to your community – evictions. Lots of them. On Monday, county legislators learned that’s a distinct possibility.

“We are faced with the possibility of hundreds of low-income households being thrown out of the place where they live,” said John Tenbusch, St. Lawrence County planner.

The state’s moratorium on evictions ends April 30 and landlords in St. Lawrence County are getting ready. In the just past four months, they’ve picked up applications for 260 evictions.

“We’re afraid that might sort of snowball into a cycle of disinvestment in that lower end of the housing market,” said Tenbusch.

Those 260 applications will soon hit the courts. The courts in turn are already sitting on applications for eviction already filed. It’s the sheriff’s civil division that enforces eviction orders.

“We expect an influx, a large influx, of evictions for St. Lawrence County,” said Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe.

The county’s Fair Housing Task Force Monday asked legislators to lobby the state for relief for renters. The county legislature passed a measure supporting landlords last month.

There is a big ray of hope in all this. Both President Trump’s and President Biden’s stimulus bills contain billions of dollars for rental assistance.

Trump’s COVID Relief bill contained $25 billion for rental assistance. Biden’s almost $22 billion. But so far, rental relief has been slow to make its way to renters.

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