Gianaris pushes alternative to ‘cancel rent’

Fund would pay landlords for rent arrears and clear tenants’ debt

New York /
Feb.February 01, 2021 11:20 AM
Sen. Mike Gianaris and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Sen. Mike Gianaris and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Sen. Michael Gianaris didn’t get too many holiday cards from the real estate industry last year. But now the high-ranking legislator and housing advocates are pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to set aside $2.2 billion for small landlords and their struggling tenants.

In a recent letter to Cuomo, Gianaris, best known for pro-tenant legislation and helping chase Amazon’s HQ2 project away from his home borough of Queens, argued for the creation of a Housing Stability Relief Fund to pay landlords for rent arrears and clear the debt of about 1.3 million households unable to make rent payments in the pandemic, the Daily News reported.

“New York has spent the last year in the midst of a public health and economic crisis,” Gianaris said. “If we don’t take action now, we will also fall into a housing and eviction crisis.”

Gianaris is the No. 2-ranked Democrat in the Senate, but legislators have limited power to shape the state budget, although they negotiate it with the governor.

The state has extended an eviction moratorium into the spring, but there’s no exit plan for landlords to be paid when it ends.

Housing advocates, including the cancel-rent group Housing Justice for All, are set to echo Gianaris’ sentiment and also to call for $500 million in state funds to be set aside to help end homelessness. They also want the legislature to enact enduring eviction protection through the pandemic.

Cuomo is counting on $15 billion in federal aid for the state budget, due April 1. Gianaris said if Washington assistance falls short, the state should consider increasing taxes on the wealthy to cover the cost of the rent relief. [NY Daily News] — Akiko Matsuda





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    A photo illustration of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine (Getty, Office of Mark Levine)
    Map: Here’s a treasure trove of Manhattan resi development sites
    Map: Here’s a treasure trove of Manhattan resi development sites
    Albany buildings
    How Albany is dealing with its 1K vacant buildings
    How Albany is dealing with its 1K vacant buildings
    Steph and Ayesha Curry
    Steph Curry shoots his NIMBY shot
    Steph Curry shoots his NIMBY shot
    Seth Weissman, John Catsimatidis, Mayor Eric Adams
    They said what now? Real estate quotes of the week
    They said what now? Real estate quotes of the week
    (Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
    DC’s real estate market demands to be taken seriously
    DC’s real estate market demands to be taken seriously
    From left: Robert Reffkin and Rupert Murdoch (Getty, Compass)
    ChatGPT didn’t write this week’s real estate news roundup, we promise
    ChatGPT didn’t write this week’s real estate news roundup, we promise
    (Photo Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
    Native Hawaiians leaving state due to high cost of living
    Native Hawaiians leaving state due to high cost of living
    5603 Winslet Drive North in Franklin, TN with Paula Duvall
    Charred $1.5M mansion finds buyer after days on market
    Charred $1.5M mansion finds buyer after days on market
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...