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Out-of-work renters can take ‘deep breath’ as governor extends moratorium on evictions

New York State residents struggling to pay rents cannot be evicted by landlords through August 20, according to an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday.

The updated mandate is a 60-day extension of a previous moratorium that was issued by the governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and was set to expire in June.

“I hope it gives families a deep breath,” the governor said at his daily media briefing Thursday. “Nothing can happen until August 20. And then we figure out what the situation is.”

The executive order also prevents landlords from charging tenants fees for late or missed payments during the eviction moratorium. It allows renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as payment as long as they repay it over time, the governor said.

The announcement comes as New York’s total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus eclipsed 327,000 and a large spike in the death toll was reported as a change was made in the way presumed COVID-19 cases were counted. There have now been 20,828 reported fatalities in New York State, including 1,599 in Suffolk County.