12 THE QUEENS COURIER • MAY 14, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Rent crisis in New York City only tip of the iceberg
From the beginning of the coronavirus
It isn’t enough to just “cancel the rent.” Both tenants and landlords in New York City need fi nancial help to sustain themselves
PUBLISHER & EDITOR
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
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PRESIDENT & CEO
JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
ANGELICA ACEVEDO, JENNA BAGCAL, KATRINA MEDOFF,
CARLOTTA MOHAMED, MAX PARROTT, BILL PARRY
CLIFF KASDEN, SAMANTHA SOHMER, ELIZABETH ALONI
JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
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Story: Elmhurst Hospital workers to receive
three-night complimentary vacation postpandemic
Summary: More than 4,000 employees at NYC
Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst will each receive
a free, three-night vacation from American
Airlines and Hyatt Hotels once the COVID-
19 pandemic subsides, the airline and hotel
announced last week.
Reach: 5,447 (as of 5/12/20)
while also preventing the city’s economy from collapsing even further.
crisis, there has been a persistent
call to “cancel rent” in New
York state and provide a much-needed
break to cash-strapped, out-ofwork
New Yorkers. Th at call has
been kept on infi nite hold.
Back in March, Governor Andrew
Cuomo enacted via executive order
a moratorium on eviction proceedings,
guaranteeing that landlords
cannot boot their tenants for nonpayment
of rent due to the pandemic.
On May 7, he announced an
extension of the moratorium
through August, and also cleared
the way for landlords to use security
deposit payments in lieu of rental
But these are not long-term solutions
for the turmoil at hand.
Th e rent is still due for thousands
of tenants whether they can
aff ord to pay it. If you lost your
job in March, have just enough for
the necessities but not enough for
your $2,000 monthly apartment
rent, you’re now on
the hook for April and May
rent, at $4,000.
Factor in missed payments
for June, July and
August, and by the time the
moratorium ends, you would
wind up owing your landlord
$10,000 in back rent.
Th at’s unfair not only to the
tenant, but also the landlord.
It’s easy to think of every landlord
as a faceless, multimillion-dollar
corporation, but the truth is
there are plenty of landlords who
live below their tenants and count
on rental income to pay their own
If they can’t aff ord their mortgages,
the banks will foreclose. Resulting
short sales and foreclosure auctions
will drive down the value of their
buildings, and that will have a ripple
eff ect on the entire real estate market.
Does that matter? Yes, because the
city assesses property taxes based
on property values. Decreased values
lead to decreased property tax
revenue, which will compound the
already staggering $9 billion budget
gap at City Hall.
We’ve got a fi nancial disaster on
our hands — one that, combined
with the current fi scal situation, may
drive New York City back to the
near-bankruptcy era of the 1970s if
we’re not careful.
So it isn’t enough to just “cancel
Tenants need cash to pay their
rents; landlords need their cash to
pay their mortgages. If the government
can’t provide that in the interim,
New York City will be in even