COVID-19 — Government Killed Work. Should It Kill Rent, Too? If So, How?

posters at a rental housing rally
A Day In New York 14th May 2015- Rally to Save NYC (17036117274) photo by The All-Nite Images is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Banners at a rally for renters in New York City, 2015.

Shelterforce takes a lengthy look ‘from the left’ at the plight of renters without income to pay their rent. It focuses on rent cancellation for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency and considers options that might be implemented by the government that might ensure that renters do not become the second wave of victims of COVID-19.

Possible solutions are offered that take into account the plight of some, if not all, landlords who are also facing ruin thanks to the pandemic.

Read much more on this issue in Shelterforce: What Would It Mean to Cancel Rent?

An article in The Atlantic, takes a broader view of the ‘cancel rent’ problem, exploring how we got to a situation where many if not most renters don’t have enough savings to cover a single month’s rent, let alone several months. It carries on with an exploration of the impossible predicament that renters as a class faced before COVID-19, and will continue to plague them into the future unless there is some change to the financial structure of rental housing in America. Read more in The Atlantic: Cancel Rent