NYC tenants owe over $1.1 billion in unpaid rent, survey says

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Big Apple rent-regulated tenants owe over $1.1 billion in unpaid rent, with nearly 20 percent of them more than two months behind on payments, according to a new survey.

The findings from the Community Housing Improvement Program also show that about 50,000 tenants are more than $15,000 behind in rent, which is about a year of missed payments.

The stunning revelations, derived from surveying 40,000 rent-regulated units, comes as New York state is set to receive $1.3 billion in rental assistance from the federal government as part of the latest COVID-19 relief package.

It remains unclear how much of that sum will be alloted to the city, but CHIP’s executive director, Jay Martin, said in a statement that the funds “will be a huge help if it is properly allocated toward owed arrears.”

Renters currently unable to pay their rent during the pandemic are legally protected from being forced out of their homes, at least until May 1, thanks to a state law passed in December extending the eviction moratorium.

“We have a clear blueprint to protect renters from eviction and the housing system from collapse,” said Martin, whose group represents landlords of rent-regulated housing.

“Our owners have done their part, now the government must do their part to help pay for the cost of housing thousands of people.”

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