Eviction moratorium costs some workers their jobs

WWNY Eviction moratorium costs some workers their jobs

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s a pandemic policy that’s keeping people in their homes, but costing a handful of others their jobs in Ogdensburg.

Rob Dawson owns 17 rental properties in Ogdensburg. He also oversees maintenance for 75 other rental properties through his company Trash, Grass and Snow.

Over the last year, some of his properties have suffered. But with the eviction moratorium in place, he says there’s nothing he can do about it.

“So we’ll go to that tenant and say, ‘You have got to clean up your mess,’ and that tenant says, ‘Or what?’...It would have been, ‘Or we are going to have to evict you,’” he said.

With eviction protection from the state, Dawson says 30 percent of his tenants have stopped paying rent. Those reduced revenues forcing him to lay off two employees

Ogdensburg Mayor Mike Skelly says Dawson’s story is concerning.

“I do have concern for this going so long their properties are going to deteriorate and they are not going to have the resources to maintain them,” said Skelly.

And with less money and manpower, some essential fixes just can’t get done.

“We have to select very carefully what we can repair because there is only so much money to go around. We can’t afford to repair everything right now,” said Dawson.

But, Dawson says he hopes some monetary help will be on the way soon. The latest stimulus package has $45 billion in rental assistance set aside for those qualified.

The current state moratorium is set to expire on May 1.

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