NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio says that he will be working with the state to enact a rent freeze amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With non-essential businesses shut down, many New Yorkers are out of work and worried they won’t be able pay their rent on April 1. There have been calls for a rent freeze while businesses are closed and people are being encouraged to stay at home.

De Blasio addressed those concerns at his daily coronavirus press conference Friday.

Watch below:

“I think if ever there was a time there should be a rent freeze, it is now, so for the millions of New Yorkers who live in stabilized, rent-stabilized housing in this city … what we’ve seen here, to me, makes clear that we need a rent freeze for everyone who’s rent-stabilized, and we have to talk about all the people who are not rent-stabilized as well,” de Blasio said. “But for everyone rent-stabilized, since we have a mechanism, we need to have a rent freeze.”


The mayor says the help of the state of New York is needed in order to enact a rent freeze.

“We will be working with the state starting immediately, requesting the opportunity to suspend the rent guidelines process for calendar year 2020. If we are able to get state agreement to suspend the rent guidelines process for this year, that will effectively create an immediate rent freeze for new leases,” de Blasio said. “That’s something I think we have to do given the sheer severity of this crisis.”

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

Amy Plitt, editor of Curbed NY, recently spoke to CBS2 about the issue.

“You can’t be evicted if you don’t pay your rent at this point. There’s an eviction moratorium,” Plitt said. “There are various pieces of legislation that are … being debated … at the state level to either get a rent freeze or a suspension for tenants.”

Housing experts recommend talking to landlords about a month-to-month rent payment until the COVID-19 pandemic eases up.

Comments (2)
  1. AG Panson says:

    For politicians & tenants alike, a rent strike equates to a property tax strike. If tenants do not feel compelled to pay for housing during a crisis, neither will homeowners. Homeowners are also residents who are legally entitled to the same benefit as tenants so if any deferment, suspension, or cancellation of rent is considered so will property taxes. It would be unrealistic to expect homeowners who are in the same position as tenants to pay property taxes. Rent goes to property taxes so if landlords do not receive rent they will not be able to pay property taxes. City council & pols completely inept to lead and instead look to create dissention amongst its residents. Tenants & homeowners who require relief can & should obtain through the Human Resources Administration and not attempt to skirt the system with blanket relief. Many tenants are receiving $600 in addition to their unemployment where they can easily pay rent however they instead lobby naive pols to do the dirty work. This has all been done before with great failure so if the pols want to lose 50% of the city’s revenue let them pursue this failed policy.

    1. dester says:

      No we suppose to be receiving 600 on top of unemployment applied early march still waiting for a dime. City run out of money they cant pay most of us. We be lucky if we see any money in june.

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