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Queens Congress Members Want Rent and Mortgage Payments To Be Canceled Due To COVID-19

Apartments in Jackson Heights (wiki JLeon CC BY 2.5)

May 5, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Several Queens Congress Members have demanded the national cancellation of all rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic – and for six months afterward.

Lawmakers Grace Meng, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Carolyn Maloney, Nydia Velázquez and Hakeem Jeffries wrote to House and Senate leaders Tuesday urging them to include these provisions as part of the next federal stimulus package. The letter was signed by five other New York City Congress Members.

The group said that the economic shutdown has caused unprecedented unemployment and that many people will end up homeless if rent and mortgage payments are not forgiven.

“For families with little to no savings to fall back on, this has been, and will continue be, catastrophic as they try to keep food on the table, cover the cost of prescription drugs, or meet other expenses,” the letter states.

“Further, as state unemployment systems face an unprecedented and overwhelming demand, millions more are expected to lose their sources of income,” it reads.

Under the plan, a fund would be created and administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development whereby landlords would be reimbursed the cost of canceling rent for their tenants. This universal program would ensure that all renters are covered without introducing costly bureaucratic measures that would slow the receipt of aid, the group said.

Homeowners would also be able to get their mortgage payments forgiven through the same program. This would preserve homeownership for families and avoid investors taking advantage of potential bankruptcy auctions in the property market, the letter states.

The program would extend to include anyone with a current residential lease, small private landlords, public housing authorities, nonprofit organizations and housing cooperatives.

The letter did not outline how much the entire program would cost although Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez, told the New York Post that rent cancellation alone would cost about $66 billion per month.

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34 Comments

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Mac

Landlord on the edge aka hashtagger- Thank you for the history rewrite. I was here when the South Bronx became Fort Apache and rent control laws had nothing to do with it. Those rent control laws were city wide. Other Neighborhoods like Bay Ridge, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Yorkvlle and Bayside, just to name a few would have experienced the same fate as South Bronx and Harlem but didn’t. Lack of proper urban planning is one of the culprits cited by historians. The building of CO-OP City drained the South Bronx of residents further fueled white flight. During this period Robert Moses abuse of imminent domain to build the Cross Bronx Expressway, mm is one of the other culprits. The high way went thorough vibrant middle class neighborhoods. Creating blighted unlivable neighborhoods nobody would move to. Do some research. Propaganda makes you appear uninformed.

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Mac

Enough aka hashtagger- It’s everybody’s money no matter what Fox Propaganda tells you. The economy needs money to flow through it in order for it to survive. Eco101. Get informed stop reading and posting propaganda.

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Yeah it was easy for Trump to redistribute wealth to the entire country for free

sorry I thought you meant someone else

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Billy

No Roberto I don’t have a trust fund. I saved and invested all my life. My parents gave me nothing. Instead of having kids and making excuses maybe people like you should prepare for emergencies before the emergency. Come on Roberto you can do better than that mailroom job. Stop being jealous of other people who have worked hard to succeed.

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humans are almost done with this planet

sure, then the landlords can go to their banks and tell them to cancel this months mortgage payment on the money they borrowed to build the home the renters are living in, that should go well. Financing doesn’t stop at renters. typical AOC bs.

I agree there is no easy solution to this, its a freakin mess for everyone. Not just renters.

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Ria

Health experts and scientists are predicting a greater second wave of Coronavirus in the Fall/Winter. Before the virus hit NYC, we were told that we were prepared. That NYC had the best hospitals and staff in the country. That the subways were safe to ride. We all saw what happened with that BS. What are they going to tell people the second time around? That the city has enough ventilators and temporary tented hospitals to hospital us and that the subways are safe because they wipe them down for a couple of hours in the night? People will not be that stupid the second time around. No such thing as forced labor. Your health is more important. This needs to pass ASAP.

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Jessie

Book lover: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that unemployment benefits would be extended from 26 to 39 weeks for New Yorkers who have lost their job due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Landlord on the edge

Go ahead. Destroy the landloards! Then you will see a very unpleasant change in your living conditions. Does anyone remember why the South Bronx and much of Northern Manhattan turned into slums. Insane rent control laws.

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Billy

Excellent job by these liberals. I have a great job making over $100K. I’d love to have my rent canceled for 6 months. Thank you liberals. Maybe I could get unemployment benefits also. And food stamps. Why not?

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Trump gave free money to everyone, taxpayers paid for it

You did get a stimulus check though right? You returned it right? Otherwise you’re hypocritical words would be meaningless…

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Book Lover

Tanya:
Doesn’t unemployment benefits last only 26 weeks? What are you going to live on after that if you don’t want to work. Tax-payer money???? Welfare??? I know it’s hard to get up in the morning and go to work but somehow the rest of us are capable of doing it (before the shutdown, of course).

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Katie

For anyone out there afraid about this (outside of the virus), it’s ok to be afraid, but it doesn’t have to stop you from acting and being heard. Support and vote for congress people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into office. Get involved, Be heard!

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Ty

Money is valued and people aren’t!! Organize the people around you and seize the moment.

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tanya

I live pay check to pay check. If this passes I rather keep my unemployment benefits and stay home. Unless your making a lot per month who is going to give up their benefits to work 3 weeks out of the month just to pay rent.

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Kate

No money should go to landlords with housing violations and illegal apartments.

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Lisa

Joe Biden needs to step up his game and offer this to the American public ASAP.

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Christina Gomez

They should just cancel bills for all those that can’t pay them.

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Alexa

Yes! My mom has been out of work for months now and the bills are piling up, she used her savings for rent but its all gone. I am out of work also and I can not afford to pay rent or help my mom. My landlord wont repair my leak in the kitchen and he hasn’t been putting heat. I reported him to 311. Cancelling rent is a must! Make it mandatory already! Most landlords can can get a loan to help.

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Cydney

Few in congress care about unemployment and rent issues. Thank you Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and all for fighting for the people you represent.

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david

30 million unemployed millions likely to lose their homes amid the pandemic. Donald Trump cares more about his poll numbers.

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Holly

We should pass universal basic income. They gave our money to people/corps that didn’t need it

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Kelly

If I could not pay my property tax, I would be in a homeless shelter before the renters.

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Lia

AOC and the other wannabes are basically trying to buy votes. And it will work.

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Joe

I wonder if the City is going to forgive my property tax and home expenses also?

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Margarita

This is very good to help all the people. But i think it better to make no rent payment one year afterwards. Hard to find job. No have money for food and house and electric.

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