As noted in Real Estate Weekly, only 4% of the state’s $2.6 billion federal rent relief funds have reached tenants and landlords – and only $5.1 billion of the total $46.5 billion for ERAP have been distributed by state and local governments. A new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University shows that nearly 10% of landlords around the country collected less than half of their rent in 2020; landlords who owned fewer than six units (the very folks I’ve been advocating for) were most affected.
This is completely unacceptable! Mom-and-pop landlord small businesses are hurting and experiencing financial devastation. My office heard from one small business landlord (one of many) who is now going on 21 months of not having received a single rent payment on HIS rental property that was supposed to serve as retirement income for him and his wife. Now, instead of having access to that funding, he works overnights trying to remain above water and mitigate the debilitating financial impact he’s endured for close to two years. The article linked via the Adirondack Daily Enterprise outlines the growing numbers of this type of situation in greater detail, it’s worth a close read.
The fact of the matter is that there are jobs – many, many unfilled jobs – available to those who need a paycheck and want to work. We must get aid ASAP to our mom-and-pop small business landlords and help unemployed New Yorkers get back to work at the numerous open positions so many small businesses are desperate to fill.
Fixing this problem isn’t about a special session. It’s about our state government being accountable, addressing the many problems with the ERAP Program (as I pointed out months ago), and getting already appropriated funding out the door to the mom-and-pop small business landlords who’ve waited close to 20 months for this critical assistance. I’ll continue working and advocating for the mom-and-pop small business landlords who need Albany to finally recognize the severity of the economic crisis they’re facing!