Housing advocates call for rent strike

Staggering unemployment caused by the coronavirus crisis has left millions New Yorkers unable to make rent, which will be due on May 1.

“I’m not working, i’m not able to pay my bills, i’m not even able to basically buy food,” said Althea Miller, a single mother living in Brooklyn.

Miller and other tenants in New York City are planning to protest at the New York State Capitol in Albany on Friday to call for a statewide rent strike for the month of May. 

However, landlords are pushing back on the rent strike movement, saying they too are having trouble making ends meet, which will be made worse if tenants don’t pay rent.

“Many city and state officials are sending the wrong message out here,” said Vito Signorelli, with the Rent Stabilization Association. “Building owners have expenses too, and they’re completely ignoring that by calling on tenants to conduct a rent strike.”

Governor Cuomo says he hopes the federal government will provide all New Yorkers with more relief in order to assuage the crisis, something both sides of the issue agree with.


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