New Rochelle couple: NY eviction moratorium is trapping them in their own home
A New Rochelle elderly couple says the state's eviction moratorium has trapped them in their own home.
The New Rochelle home is the nest egg of Assunta and Aldo Leone, but the couple says a long list of health issues is signaling to them it's time to sell their home.
"We don't have the money to maintain this house, and we cannot pay the bills," says Assunta Leone.
They say they are trapped in legal limbo because their tenants refuse to leave, and the state's moratorium on evictions renders them helpless.
"We need to sell the house and go someplace where we can get the help," says Leone.
Their tenants stopped paying their $2,100 a month rent a year ago.
News 12 spoke with Addison Klutchko, who says he and his mother applied for help through the state's Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
"I already looked up the qualifications. We will get approved for it," he says.
But the Leones say they want to sell as soon as possible, which is why their attorney advised them not to use the program because it prevents landlords from evicting tenants for a year after receiving funding.
Instead, they are hoping the state's eviction moratorium isn't extended past Jan. 15, so they can pursue legal action.
"Thats my big fear, because we were waiting before and they extend and they extend," says Leone.
Klutchko says he and his mother, who is battling cancer, feel trapped as well. He says both of them are unemployed with few options.
"If we had an opportunity that we can be out of this situation I would take it, but we are still in a middle of a COVID pandemic," he says.
The Leones and their tenants have a court date next month.
A lawsuit has been filed by the Building & Realty Institute challenging the constitutionality of the state's eviction moratorium.
New York is one of only a handful of states in the country that still have a ban on evictions in place.