Hordes of American landlords will be very unhappy this month, as the largest rent strike in history is scheduled to kick off.
New York, Ohio and California protesters are planning to withhold rent payments because of income lost to the Coronavirus, and their numbers are growing constantly. In New York alone, over 12,000 tenants have pledged to withhold rents. Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo suspended evictions for 90 days, there’s not a lot that landlords can do about it, The Guardian says.
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California also has banned evictions over Coronavirus hardship.
With 30 million filing for unemployment insurance, many people are having a hard time coming up with rent money.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, D-N.Y., the far-left freshman lawmaker who supports the strikers, said, “People aren’t striking because they don’t feel like paying rent, they’re striking because they can’t,” The Guardian reported.
We Strike Together, an organization of rent protesters, says that 190,000 people have taken the pledge to withhold rent, and adds, “If you can’t pay your rent or mortgage on the 1st, you are not alone. As COVID-19 exacerbates the housing crisis, millions of people are with you.”
“No one should be displaced or go into debt because they can't pay their rent or their mortgage. An eviction moratorium is an urgent first step, but we need a suspension of rent and automatic forgiveness of any rent, mortgage, or utility payment owed or accumulated during the length of this crisis,” Housing Justice For All, a New York protest group, said on its website.
On the national level, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has introduced legislation which would suspend rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the pandemic.
She said in a statement, “We must take major action to protect the health and economic security of the most vulnerable, including the millions of Americans currently at risk of housing instability and homelessness,” Forbes reported.
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