One of the New York State Senate's most powerful Democrats has called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pay landlords and provide tenants with rent relief as part of a $2 billion state budget proposal in an effort to stem the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Michael Gianaris, a Democrat, told FOX Business Network's “CAVUTO: Coast to Coast” Thursday that canceling rent without helping property owners only “pushes the problem” onto another class of people.
Gianaris has teamed up with housing advocates to prepare an alternative to rent forgiveness through the “Housing Stability Relief Fund.”
MICHAEL GIANARIS: Tenants are certainly in need. They have been unable to pay their rent, largely through no fault of their own. We’ve restricted the economy, we’ve, in fact, taken away their jobs for the time being, and yet we’re still expecting them to pay rent ... One of the ways to deal with this is to just help them pay their rent, because canceling without helping out these smaller homeowners just pushes the problem onto another class of people. They still have to pay mortgages, they still have to pay utilities and what have you.
Since this was a government action, these restrictions were government-mandated, it’s only fair to say 'Let’s provide some subsidies, some assistance to these folks to help make everybody whole and get the recovery moving as fast as possible.' That can happen by providing money to landlords, basically, pay the rent for those who are unable to pay their rent, and, hopefully, with the economy kickstarting soon, we can get everything back to where it was.
The estimates are that $2.2 billion in New York State is what the rent arrears number currently is. So effectively, making everyone current to the present day from when the pandemic started almost a year ago.