New York state announced on Thursday that it will extend an eviction moratorium until January 2022 and pledged more aid to renters. This move comes after an earlier eviction ban by New York was partly struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court and a national ban was overruled last week.

New York, once the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, is once again seeing an uptick in cases. The virus’ Delta variant is responsible for the majority of infections with 97% of new hospitalizations in New York City being connected to this strain. In passing a new eviction moratorium, the state Legislature is hoping that it will help keep residents safe and in their homes.

“As COVID-19 continues to be a threat to the health and well-being of New Yorkers throughout the state, we are taking decisive, comprehensive steps to extend and strengthen the pillars of our legislative strategy to keep all New Yorkers safe,” said Democratic state Sen. Brian Kavanagh, the main sponsor of the legislation.

New York’s moratorium extension has been a priority for lawmakers since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of a ban on Aug. 12. The urgency to find a solution intensified after the state’s eviction moratorium ended on Aug. 31.

The state Senate and Assembly overwhelmingly approved the measure and it is expected that Gov. Kathy Hochul will sign it into law. Hochul has supported finding a way to prevent a mass of evictions, framing the quest as a way to fight COVID-19 while not exasperating homelessness in the state.

“We are not going to allow people who, through no fault of their own, lost income, [are] not able to pay and facing eviction. We’re not going to allow that to happen here in the great state of New York,” Hochul said on Tuesday when she ordered the state Legislature to return for a special session.

The governor, who only entered office last week, laid part of the blame for the crisis on her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo. She faulted his administration for failing to distribute millions in federal relief funds that included aid for renters struggling to pay their bills. In a report by U.S. News and World Report from Aug. 25, it was shown that a majority of the nation’s 50 states spent less than a fifth of the rental assistance, but in New York, less than 1% of allocated aid has yet to be distributed to renters. Part of the new bill provides for $400 million in additional assistance to renters and they cannot face eviction under current law if they have a relief application currently being processed.

Landlords predictably were opposed to the Legislature’s action. Joseph Strasburg of the Rent Stabilization Association, which contributed to the initial lawsuit that limited New York's original moratorium, said his association will seek injunctive relief. Strasburg accused the Legislature of attempting to act as a judiciary and of disregarding the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down the national moratorium last week. His organization, which represents 25,000 New York City landlords, had previously threatened to bring a new lawsuit against the bill if passed.

Proponents of the bill insisted that their new ban was legally sound. They point to a provision that allows landlords to start eviction proceedings if tenants are a "nuisance" or inflict property damage. It also allows them to challenge financial hardship claims from tenants, something lacking in the earlier ban and which played a part in the RSA's initial lawsuit.