The yearly auction that sells off delinquent tax liens to private debt collectors is still moving forward and expected to generate $57 million in city revenue, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday.

"That's a serious amount of money," said de Blasio of the projected city revenue.

The sale is slated for September 4th. It was originally scheduled for May 15th, but was postponed because of the coronavirus. According to de Blasio, the delinquent status of these accounts—expected to be about 9,500 total—pre-dates the pandemic, which means these were not property owners financially impacted by the pandemic.

"There's a huge number of people out there, no matter how tough things are, they are and have been paying their taxes," said de Blasio. "Folks who are working to, in every way they can, keep going. And they depend on government resources, and all the support we provided in terms of food and healthcare; all the things we've done for free for the people this city. That has to be paid for. There's there's no stimulus in Washington. There's no long-term borrowing from Albany yet. It's very hard to turn down that amount of revenue when you think about what it means for the people of the city and the services we need to provide for them."

The news comes amid a push by state legislators and housing advocates to hold off on the debt sale, at least for small-time homeowners, arguing that even in these hard fiscal situations the sale can threaten homeownership, particularly in working class neighborhoods.

Ivy Perez, a spokesperson for the Coalition for Affordable Homes, told the NY Post that, "Those same communities, most of them low- or moderate-income, have been hardest-hit by COVID-19, and the tax lien sale threatens to further destabilize them.”

Tax lien sales usually happen once a year. This time the city Department of Finance looks to sell off past due water and sewer bills to lien servicing company. That company can organize a payment plan that a property owner must agree to or risk a legal seizure of the property that comes in the form of a foreclosure that could happen 30 days or six months from the time the lien was sold off.

"I would appeal to the mayor to think about the small private homeowner that's struggling during this pandemic; that's been stuck at home for the last five months, and has been unable to work," said State Senator Leroy Comrie, representing an area of Queens where some 600 homes have bills up for sale. "It's historically people that...did not even realize that they were in arrears and would lose their home for $2,000 water bill? That's crazy."

Comrie and Assemblymember David Weprin have introduced a bill that looks to delay the tax lien sale for up to one year to the day after Governor Andrew Cuomo lifts his emergency order. Despite their attempts at trying to fast track the bill, their efforts are likely to come short as the State Legislature will not be convening next week.

Owners have until September 3rd to clear up their debts or be placed on the sale the following day.