Waive NYC rent for April and May to flatten the curve

Waive NYC rent for April and May to flatten the curve

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Matt Kapilevich started this petition to Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio and

In order to flatten the Coronavirus curve and prevent many thousands more from dying, NYC must waive rent payments for the months of April and May for NYC tenants. This has to happen immediately.

When looking at https://nypost.com/2020/04/01/nyc-map-shows-percentage-of-patients-with-coronavirus-by-zip-code/ posted today, it is obvious that the spread of the virus is strongly correlated with the socioeconomic class of the residents. Wealthier residents, such as those living in Manhattan, are generally able to work from home and have significant savings. This allows them to maintain proper social distancing. Poorer residents who cannot make rent and do not have savings, however, must continue to work and cannot maintain proper social distancing needed to flatten curve. The same correlation is also reflected in higher subway ridership by poorer residents, as evidenced here: https://untappedcities.com/2020/03/18/mapping-the-nyc-subway-ridership-drop-from-coronavirus/

There are far more tenants than there are landlords. While this will unquestionably hurt landlords, they are much better positioned to weather a temporary drop in their revenue. There are lots of reasonable options to reimburse landlords for their lost revenue, ranging from a temporary increase in NYC taxes to federal funding. 

To further limit the financial strain on landlords, I propose to automatically qualify only households in NYC making less than 100K. However, any tenant living in NYC should be able to defer rent payment without a penalty due to financial hardship in April and May.

The cost of two months rent is dwarfed by the cost NYC hospitals will incur, and the incredible human suffering that will be inflicted if people are not able to stay at home during this time. Current NY projections at http://covid19.healthdata.org/projections are beyond terrifying.

To flatten the curve, we must act now. To stop people from dying, people need to stay at home. To stay at home, people cannot be out working to pay rent. We must waive rent payments for the months of April and May - the projected height of the outbreak - for NYC tenants.

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