KINGSTON — Since New York ended its COVID-19 eviction moratorium in January 2022, eviction rates in this Ulster County city have spiked. The state’s eviction dashboard shows that in 2019, Kingston’s 12401 zip code clocked 332 eviction orders. During the first two years of the pandemic, with the moratorium in place, that number dropped by two-thirds. But in 2022, even with a local “good-cause” eviction law in place, Kingston was back up over 300 evictions. So far, 2023 is just behind that pace.
“The activist group For the Many has fiercely weighed in on the debate with its “Homes Are Not Hotels” campaign, which goes further than what Kingston plans to do.
“If you want to rent out a room in your house as an Airbnb, that’s great,” said spokesman Aaron Fernando. “But when someone doesn’t even live here, buys an entire house, evicts tenants and turns it into Airbnbs, is that helping anybody? No, it’s taking housing away from people.”
According to For the Many organizing strategist June Nemon, the owners of Uptown Kingston LLC are the same owners as E&M Management, “a notorious group from New York City that buys rent-stabilized apartment buildings and tries to deregulate and flip them.””