Governor Cuomo signed a bill last night, providing rent relief to a limited number of tenants affected by the COVID pandemic.
The bill calls for $100 million in federal stimulus funds to create rental vouchers for people paying more than 30% of their income in rent. Anyone who lost income between April 1 and July 31 of this year, and makes less than 80% of an area's median income will be covered.
Our answer to that is, it ain't enough.
If you figure that the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment is $2700, and times that cost by the four months, what Cuomo is willing to pay, comes out to $10,800 per claim. That means only 9259 apartments citywide would benefit. According to this article in The Deal (https://therealdeal.com/2020/05/19/about-25-of-nyc-renters-didnt-pay-in-may-survey/), renters of 100,000 apartments in New York City did not pay their May rents. So what happens to the 92,000 renters, Governor?
And then, what about those who were paying less than 30% of their income in rents, but now, do not have jobs? What happens to those people? If they were unable to pay one month's rent, how do you expect them to afford four months of rent?
Also, commercial rents? What is to be done? How do communities keep their identity without the small businesses in the community?
Governor, you have to do better. Get together with your pal Chuck and figure it out. The federal government must kick in the additional monies needed; otherwise, thousands will be evicted and added to the homeless roles.
Please call the Governor's office and tell him that the city needs the money now. 1-518-474-8390
Marni Halasa, activist and candidate for City Council speaks about the Rent Strike issue in New York City. Thousands of New York City residents are unable to pay their May Rents. Why isn't the government doing something to help them?