De Blasio calls for NYC rent freeze, asks state to assist tenants

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Pictured: Fausto Pichardo

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NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has called on the state and the city’s Rent Guidelines Board to assist those who may be struggling to pay their rent next month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need to make sure that every New Yorker can stay in their home during this crisis,” de Blasio said during his press conference Friday morning.

The mayor assured NYC residents they will not be evicted during the pandemic. He announced anyone who experiences problems with their landlord can call the new tenant hotline at 311.

As May 1 approaches, de Blasio said the Rent Guidelines Board should act quickly to authorize a rent freeze for over two million tenants.

“A lot of what we saw in the Great Depression is happening right now, right here,” he said. “Give them a rent freeze. They need it.”

The mayor also called on the state to approve allowing tenants to pay rent with their security deposit, approve to allow tenants who miss rent to repay over 12 months and approve to extend the eviction moratorium to 60 days beyond the crisis.

Gov. Cuomo said the state is working on a plan to assist New Yorkers with rent relief.

Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa also commented on De Blasio’s call for the state to assist in rent freezes.

“That’s controlled by the rent board in New York City, and that’s entirely controlled by New York City,” she said. “That’s outside of our actual jurisdiction.”

New York City has seen over 141,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus with over 16,000 deaths.

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