By Emily Davenport
The Partnership for the Homeless is praising the Rent Guideline Board’s vote to impose rent freezes and allow a 1 percent increase on rents in the second year of leases.
However, the Partnership says that more needs to be done to prevent evictions in New York City as the pandemic continues. Without government leaders stepping up to bring about rental assistance, according to the organization, thousands of New York families in arrears are on a trajectory to homelessness by this summer.
“We are heartened that the Rent Guideline Board has taken these actions. But we caution: this is not and will not be enough to prevent the countless evictions that will likely take place, and the surge in homelessness in our city as a result of COVID-19,” said Áine Duggan, President and CEO The Partnership for the Homeless. “The brunt of COVID-19’s economic fallout is being borne by families, living in neighborhoods long since disenfranchised by structural discrimination, racism, and inequality. New Yorkers who have traditionally lived paycheck to paycheck, with little to no savings, will now have months of rental arrears due to COVID-related job loss.”
The Partnership for the Homeless aims in part to help New Yorkers with financial assistance, tenant/landlord mediation and/or legal referrals, and a range of supportive services so they can stay in their homes. As a response to the impact left by COVID-19, the Partnership is launching plans to expand its eviction prevention and financial assistance services for New Yorkers to stay in their homes.
“While The Partnership’s work will support many New Yorkers, private and nonprofit support won’t be enough to close the widening gap. Government must step in to lead us out of this housing crisis,” said Duggan. “Specifically, the next federal disaster relief package must include $100B in rental assistance to prevent millions of people in New York and around the country from losing their homes.”
To begin the process of applying for support, visit www.partnershipforthehomeless.org/cant-pay-your-rent-the-partnership-can-provide-assistance. For assistance, questions or more information, call the Partnership at 212-645-3444 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.