It seems that finding safe and affordable housing in the Empire State is becoming more difficult every single day. With inflation hitting the housing market on all ends, from home sales to rental rates, lots of people are being squeezed from just about every direction.

Not only is this starting to drive up homelessness across the state, but it's also making it even tougher for those folks who had a fair income to find somewhere they could afford to live.

For some, this is forcing folks to move even farther out from where they used to live. For others, unfortunately, it's causing them to do some unscrupulous things to find housing that is having an unintended impact in other areas.

READ MORE: Do Squatters Have More Rights Than Homeowners In New York?

It seems that the amount of squatters taking over properties in New York State has exploded in recent months. There have been several high profile cases where expensive properties have been effectively held hostage by squatters, who some say don't have a moral right to to be there. This even includes one New York City homeowner who was arrested by police after trying to remove squatters from her million-dollar home.

To help reduce these impacts, the New York State Legislature is currently debating a new bill that, if passed, should help homeowners recover their homes from people who are there improperly.

READ MORE: Squatters Take Over $2 Million Home In New York

New York State Senate Bill S8996 / Assembly Bill A9772 is currently being debated in both houses of the state legislature to redefine the definition of a tenant.

The bill, if passed into law, would specifically define what a squatter is, and would prevent squatters from being considered legal tenants. The new law would subject squatters to arrest and landlords would be legally allowed to lock them out of a property without having to go to court.

Squatters, who occupy real property without title, right or permission of the owner, owner's agent, or another person entitled to possession of the property or building, do not have the same rights and protections as lawful tenants, occupants or owners.
-New York State Senate Bill S8996 Justification

READ MORE: Is It Cheaper To Buy Or Rent Your Home In Western New York

People who intrude into others’ homes should not have rights in state housing law, and this legislation codifies just that in simple and straight-forward language. We need to immediately enact this legislation and continue examining even stronger measures to protect homeowners without inadvertently putting renters at risk.
-New York State Senator John Liu

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