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MANHATTAN — Hundreds of people marched to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s New York City office Tuesday, demanding an extension to the eviction moratorium.

Renters and housing advocates flooded Third Avenue outside of the governor’s Manhattan office as the rent moratorium is set to expire Tuesday night at midnight.

Motorists were temporarily advised to avoid Third Avenue; the street has since reopened.

State lawmakers may meet for an emergency special session Wednesday in Albany to extend the moratorium into mid January, according to reports.

After being sworn in as New York’s first female governor, Hochul pledged quick action to unstick an application bottleneck that has kept federal aid money from flowing to renters who suffered financially because of the pandemic.

Hochul’s promise to get more COVID rental assistance money into the hands of struggling New York tenants took on new urgency after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s temporary federal ban on evictions earlier in August, meaning those behind on their rent because of pandemic financial hardship will have fewer protections when the state’s eviction ban expires. 

More than 800,000 New Yorkers are estimated to owe back rent from over the pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.