Sen. Gianaris proposing renters’ relief bill amidst COVID-19 crisis

By Loulou Chryssides

With many New Yorkers out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the question becomes this: how can unemployed workers pay their monthly rent?

Approximately 58% of New York City residents pay rent, and do not own property. With unemployment numbers increasing, this rent issue becomes less of a hypothetical and a very real problem for many. In response, Senator Michael Gianaris has released a proposal that would forgive rent and mortgage payments for 90 days. The proposal aims to relieve the burden on landlords, tenants, and small businesses.

While legislation was passed earlier this month suspending evictions, tenants are still expected to pay back landlords for payments missed. Many believe that no additional intervention to protect tenants will lead to a larger number of displaced residents and shuttered businesses.

Currently, Senator Gianaris’ bill has more than 20 co-sponsors despite Governor Cuomo’s insistence that the issue has been resolved through the suspension on evictions. What do you think: should rent be halted for the next 90 days, or should rent payments be suspended altogether? Let us know what you think below.


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