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Coronavirus Inspires Socialism as Moratoriums on Rent & Utilities Flourish

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Who do you think said this yesterday?

"Let me be clear: we should not bail out large corporations that have enjoyed years of growth and prosperity. I won't support it...The people that need help the most are small businesses, hourly workers, people who rely on tips, and gig economy workers like Uber and Lyft drivers"... insisting on a 60-day moratorium on "mortgages, rent, fees and utilities for both individuals making less than $75,000 a year and small businesses with less than 250 employees."

Was it Bernie Sanders?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

Elizabeth Warren?

No, it was Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL)!

In NY, Cea Weaver, Campaign Coordinator for Housing Justice for All, writes, "In two days, rent is due for millions of New Yorkers. More than 75,000 people have called on Governor Cuomo to cancel rent and immediately rehouse the homeless. But he still has no plan for the the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who have lost income, are unable to pay the rent, and will face eviction when Housing Court reopens...On April 1, thousands of New Yorkers won't pay their rent. By May 1st, that number could grow to a million."

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, noting that half of New York State residents are renters, writes "Right now, we're in a moment unlike anything we've ever seen. Because of coronavirus, unemployment is projected to hit a larger percentage of the population than the Great Depression. My constituents are worried about whether they'll be able to afford rent next month.New York has already issued a mortgage moratorium. That's good. But if we don't also enact a rent moratorium, New York will essentially be providing relief to people based on class. Relief and protection from displacement shouldn't just be for homeowners and the wealthy. It should be for everyone. Look. A rent moratorium is possible. It's not about a lack of money, capacity, or logistics. It's about power and political will. So let's leave no doubt about where we stand."

Citizen Action of New York notes "Housing is healthcare. An eviction moratorium is the first step, but right now it's critical that every New Yorker is safely housed, especially those who are currently without homes or most in danger of losing their homes due to loss of income. We are calling on Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders to implement an immediate suspension of rent, mortgage, and utility payments, a full moratorium on evictions/foreclosures-- for renters and homeowners, and investment in safe, affordable housing for every New Yorker.

"Working people across New York State are facing lay-offs and struggling to pay rent and buy basic necessities. This problem will not disappear once the threat of COVID-19 has passed, and the eviction moratorium is lifted. Forgiving rent and mortgage debt accumulated during this period will help keep New Yorkers in their homes and stabilize our economy and our state."

Citizen Action of New York has a petition here.

On March 16, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state was ramping up its response to the coronavirus outbreak with an executive order that allows for moratoriums on evictions.

In the UK, "The government has ordered a moratorium on commercial landlord sanctions for at least three months, meaning tenants who miss rent payments because of coronavirus can keep their leases."

If you know of more places placing a moratorium on rent and utilities, please comment below, rent is due in just a couple of days for many Americans!

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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