March 30, 2020, By Michael Dorgan
Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a rent freeze for over two million New Yorkers to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic.
The freeze would apply to the 2.3 million people living in the city’s one million rent-stabilized units.
Many residents have suffered economic hardship under the coronavirus as local businesses were forced to shut in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading.
De Blasio said the city will work with the state to suspend the Rent Guidelines Board process for the remainder of the year meaning tenants will not see any increase in their rent.
“We are in the midst of a crisis only comparable to the Great Depression,” de Blasio said Friday.
“The people of our city are struggling and a rent freeze is the lifeline so many will need this year to stay above water,” he said.
Governor Cuomo has already ordered a 90-day moratorium on commercial and residential evictions but some local leaders believe more needs to be done to protect residents during the crisis.
Earlier this week, State Senator Mike Gianaris unveiled legislation that would suspend rent for 90 days for tenants who have lost their jobs or had to close their business due to the virus.
On Saturday, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders endorsed Gianaris’ plan.
Along with pausing mortgage payments, evictions, and utility shutoffs, we must place a moratorium on rent payments, especially in states hardest-hit by the coronavirus like New York. We must build on the important work @sengianaris and others are doing to make this happen. https://t.co/FKDbZYk4Pp
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 28, 2020