Key Highlights

  • Large coordinated rent strikes are scheduled to begin May 1
  • By first week of April, one-third of renters nationwide, approximately 13.4M people, had not paid rent and since then, 26M workers now unemployed
  • Slogan for rent strike campaign in NYC is “Can’t pay? Won’t pay!”

Philadelphia and New York tenant are pushing for a massive rent strike on May Day.   California tenant organizers who have been talking rent strikes for the last six weeks are likely to join them.

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The Housing Justice for All tenant coalition in New York is aiming for 1M renters to withhold their rent whether or not they can afford to pay it. The Philadelphia Tenant Union has similar goals and demanding a “cancellation of rent for the duration of the (COVIC) crisis,” said its rent-control campaign leader, Karen Harvey.

“Tenants are up against a wall,” said Jonathan Westin, executive director of the advocacy group New York Communities for Change. “Many tenants have no ability to pay rent, and landlords can’t collect rent from tenants who are broke.” Westin also wants rent relief paired with mortgage relief for landlords.

By the first week in April, “only” some 10M workers had filed for unemployment insurance benefits…by the second week in April, some 16% of tenants did not pay rent. By the fourth week in April, some 30M workers had filed for UI benefits so May 1’s rent payment day will indicate this uptick in unpaid rent payments

Rent strike searches online have skyrocketed nationwide in April. Oregon, New York, Washington state, Colorado and Vermont searches led the pack. And this online rent strike searching is not just in “blue” states…the sub-regions of Monterey-Salinas CA, Boise ID, Lansing MI, Savannah GA and Lexington KY exploded in terms of online rent strike searching. Everyone everywhere is hard up for money and stimulus checks may not help. Creditors can garnish stimulus checks prior to individuals receiving those checks.

Rent strike or not, millions of the 48 million renters in this country will be under severe “rent stress” this month.


Thanks to ZeroHedge, The Real Deal and The New York Times

Also read: No More Brokers’ Fees for NYC Renters – Not So Fast!, IMPORTANT UPDATE from NYSAR Regarding Real Estate Activities Allowed and Not Allowed in COVID-19 Emergency, Best Real Estate Podcasts According to The Motley Fool

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