On January 15th, the long standing eviction moratorium expired in New York State leaving local residents facing the possibility of eviction. However, assistance is available locally to help families prevent eviction. Tenants with an eviction notice are encouraged to call the Department of Health and Human Services for an appointment to see if they are eligible for assistance through the Department or from Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. Families who are already homeless should also seek assistance.
Tenants who need help with legal representations during eviction may contact Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY) to see if they are eligible for assistance. New York State law protects tenants from illegal evictions and they are afforded due process in housing court. Tenants who have applied for assistance under New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) are also protected from eviction until a decision is made on their ERAP application.
According to Josiah Lamp, President of the Chautauqua County Homeless Coalition, “We expect evictions to increase in the next few months with the end of New York’s eviction moratorium. The member organizations of the Homeless Coalition are here to help families and our community as we face this challenge. Throughout the pandemic, our local non-profits have stepped up to meet needs in the community and they will continue serve those who may now be facing a housing crisis.”
The Chautauqua County Homeless Coalition is a network of non-profit and public service organizations who work together to respond to homelessness in the county. In 2021, there were 1,033 people in Chautauqua County benefiting from the homeless programs of member organizations. These include emergency shelters, transitional housing, rapid rehousing, permanent housing, and homeless street outreach programs.