Tenant advocate hopes landlords will give renters slack as COVID-19 puts people out of work

The rent is due for many on the first day of the month, but for thousands of workers recently laid off because of the coronavirus epidemic, paying that bill is a struggle this month.

News 12 Staff

Apr 1, 2020, 9:30 PM

Updated 1,512 days ago

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The rent is due for many on the first day of the month, but for thousands of workers recently laid off because of the coronavirus epidemic, paying that bill is a struggle this month.
The coronavirus pandemic has left millions of Americans out of work and worried about how they're going to pay the rent.
Emma Loftin-Woods, of Yonkers, knows the struggle they're facing all too well. She was a member the Westchester County Rent Guidelines Board for 16 years.
She says seniors on fixed incomes have been reaching out to her.

"Overall, the seniors spoke with this morning are trying to meet their obligations with paying their rent,” she says.

But like many others grappling with this unprecedented crisis, they are hoping the landlord will cut them a little slack.

"And they're asking the landlords if they are a little late, to please waive the late fees,” she says.
News 12 spoke to a property owner in Yonkers who says right now it’s not really his residential tenants who are struggling to pay the rent, but rather his commercial occupants whose businesses are closed and not generating any income.

“Letting them know that No. 1 we're not out there to evict people, we just want to get paid, and we'll work with them because ultimately, we still have to pay our county taxes," says property owner Franco Milio.

The coronavirus pandemic prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to issue a 90-day moratorium on residential and commercial evictions throughout the state.
Loftin-Woods says people should still try to be responsible and pay rent if they can.

Gov. Cuomo has temporarily suspended mortgage payments. Some lawmakers are calling on him to also suspend rent payments.
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