GHA: Rent delinquency rate may increase

GLOVERSVILLE — Officials with the Gloversville Housing Authority say rent delinquency rates may rise under provisions included in the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019.

GHA Interim Executive Director Damaris Carbone reported the current delinquency rate for the agency as 18.6 percent to the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. She said the rate of delinquencies will likely grow due to the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 14.

“It’s going to become increasingly difficult to actually evict an individual in a timely manner so you’re going to see the aging report increase just a little bit more from one month to the next,” said Carbone.

The bill aimed at expanding rent and eviction protections for tenants statewide altered eviction proceedings immediately upon its adoption.

New provisions of the bill include requirements that rent demands be served in writing 14 days before landlords can start court cases for non-payment, court papers must be served at least 10 days before court dates, landlords cannot collect charges outside of rent during non-payment proceedings, non-payment proceedings cease if tenants pay all back rent before the first court date and tenants who raise defenses have the right to a 14 day adjournment before trial.

In the event the process reaches the point of eviction, an eviction warrant must be served at least 14 days before tenants can be evicted and tenants in non-payment proceedings can pay all past due rent before the eviction and end the proceedings.

“It’s going to take a little more time and people are still going to be obviously living there after the eviction notice. That adds up,” commented Board of Commissioners Chair John Poling.

“There could be some issues,” agreed Carbone, noting that delinquency rates are typically low at the agency’s senior housing units, Kingsboro Towers and Forest Hill Towers. Family housing units at DuBois Garden Apartments tend to have higher delinquency rates.

“Your family units owe fairly large balances from one month to the next,” said Carbone.

Given extensions to the timeline to commence non-payment proceedings, Carbone said GHA occupancy staff will review and document delinquency on a regular basis.

Board members acknowledged that new provisions in state law governing evictions will likely impact rent collection by the agency.

“It’s just the way it goes, you have to go through the process,” said Commissioner Margie Pedrick.