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.
“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.”
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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.”
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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.