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With rent due, millions of Americans can't -- or won't --
[版面:四海为家][首篇作者:Shirley998] , 2020年05月03日22:05:01 ,774次阅读,0次回复
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发信人: Shirley998 (Shirley), 信区: Travel
标  题: With rent due, millions of Americans can't -- or won't -- pay
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Sun May  3 22:05:01 2020, 美东)

t's the first of the month -- the time when so many start counting their
dollars, making sure they have enough to pay rent.

"I'll be able to make rent next month, but then after that, if unemployment
doesn't kick in, I'm definitely in trouble," Gabby Namm, an unemployed cook
in New York, told ABC News.

More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment since mid-March
as the novel coronavirus hit the U.S., leaving many filled with anxiety, not
knowing when they'll get another paycheck. That's sparking rent strikes
across the country from New York to Philadelphia to Chicago to Los Angeles.

MORE: 3.8 million people filed for unemployment last week, putting total
number at more than 30 million
"The choices that we have right now is we pay rent, and we're left without
any money for food," Manuel Antonio Rodrigues told ABC News.

Rodrigues lost his job in March. He joined a socially distanced protest in
Los Angeles this week, asking the mayor to cancel rent for May.

"So many of us here have had to make that decision whether we're going to
use up a little bit of money that we have on rent or whether we should save
it for medicine for food and other essential needs right now," he said.

Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for
special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team,
including the latest news, context and analysis.

Others, like Alex Mercier, who also lost his job in March, have teamed up
with the tenants in their buildings to forgo their rent payments together.

"There are people I've been talking to who are sick and need their medicine
and putting them in a situation where it's pay rent or medicine, that's just
ridiculous," Mercier, who lives in Los Angeles, said.

But renters aren't the only ones struggling. Landlords have bills to pay too.

"These are my children," Darryl Marshak, a landlord in Los Angeles, said,
talking about his tenants. "I'm still shy on April's rent on some of them,
but I understand, they're usually great."

MORE: Small business owners file suit against Gov. Newsom, other CA
officials over coronavirus closures
Marshak is a mom-and-pop building owner with six tenants.

"Maybe I got two months total of my mortgage if I have to come up with it
myself," he told ABC News. "Not to mention water, power, sewage, gardener."

"It's not a fight with the landlords, it's a fight with the banks who need
to understand that they were bailed out about ten years ago, and now we need
a bailout for the working people," Rodrigues was quick to point out while
protesting on the steps of Los Angeles' City Hall.

Across the country, there are patchwork policies for housing protection,
creating widespread confusion. Eight states -- Georgia, Arkansas, Idaho,
Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Oklahoma -- currently have
not implemented any statewide orders to suspend evictions and foreclosures
during the pandemic, according to an analysis by Princeton.

MORE: Estimated 57 million Americans job vulnerable under COVID-19: Report
"Lost jobs and lost wages -- combined with rents that were unaffordable even
before coronavirus -- leaves millions of people struggling to figure out
how to make rent and scared of being evicted during a public health
emergency," Diane Yentel, the President of the National Low Income Housing
Coalition, told ABC News.

"In this moment when our collective health depends on our ability to stay
home, it's never been more obvious that housing is health care. Congress
should be doing everything they can to keep people stably housed during and
after this public health emergency by implementing a national moratorium on
evictions and providing at least $100 billion in rental assistance," she
said.

For many home owners under financial stress, the federal rescue package
signed in March, known as the CARES Act, allows up to a year to skip or
delay mortgage loan payments. According to Black Knight, a data and
analytics firm, 3.4 million homeowners will do just that, skipping payments
for the immediate future. But others without mortgages backed by the federal
government are left uncovered.

So, what can you do?

For starters, talk to your landlord or lender. Times are hard right now, and
many may be willing to negotiate or workout a payment plan.

MORE: Coronavirus pandemic: What to do if you can't pay rent, want to buy a
home
Also, make sure you know your rights. Eviction laws are different across the
country. Make sure you're familiar with yours. Remember, what you're told
by a landlord or lender is not always what's factually accurate.
--
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