NYC Housing Activists Urge “Massive Wave” Of Rent-Strikes Because “Landlords Have Gotten Taken Care Of”

Saturday, April 18, 2020
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Sat, 04/18/2020

The wealth inequality story is not a complicated one to figure out. In essence, tens of millions of Americans were already suffering from insurmountable debts, no savings, and low wage jobs, even before the pandemic unfolded and crashed the economy.

Now the working-class poor are starting to get angry, sitting on their couches in quarantine, as they have recently been laid off, only to watch President Trump at afternoon press briefings tout about his epic bailouts of corporate America and Wall Street, while everyone else gets a lousy $1,200 check.

A “social bomb” is brewing in America – we’ve been documenting how the next crisis could be a social one. The bottom 90% of Americans are getting smarter by the day as they sit in lockdown, now organizing on the internet, and are plotting their very next big move that could be severely disruptive: rent strikes.

New York City housing activists are preparing to unleash a “massive wave” of rent strikes in the next two weeks, reported Bloomberg.

Housing Justice For All hopes to have as many as one million New Yorkers on May 1 participate in a rent strike to pressure Gov. Andrew Cuomo to cancel rent for the duration of the lockdown.

“With so many New Yorkers unable to pay rent for the foreseeable future, the current crisis is unsustainable and demands action,” Housing Justice for All and New York Communities for Change said in a statement Thursday. “Many tenants have no ability to pay rent, and landlords can’t collect rent from tenants who are broke.”

Lena Melendez, an activist who spoke with Bloomberg, said people in her building have organized and will not pay rent on May 1.

Melendez said landlords “have gotten taken care of” by the government, making the case that working-class poor do not need to pay rent.

“They have gotten tax abatements and deferments on their mortgages. And tenants have just gotten a temporary freeze, a pause, on evictions,” she said.

New York City’s Independent Budget Office projects about half a million people will lose their jobs in 2020. The city has been thrown into a recession, if not depression for the 1H20, as a social crisis is brewing…

How long until rent strikes start developing in other large major metros?

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