Ithaca, New York, is the first U.S. city to say it will cancel rent during the pandemic

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Postponing rent is one thing, but how are people with no jobs supposed to pay later? This city wants to eliminate the debt of renters. In Ithaca, New York, where nearly three-quarters of residents are renters, and COVID-19 has forced many out of work, a new resolution gives the mayor the power to cancel rent debt from the last three months, both for tenants and small businesses. The resolution—which also freezes rents and requires landlords to offer tenants lease extensions—requires approval from the state government, but housing activists believe that will happen. The city is the first in the country to act on nationwide calls to cancel rent because of the pandemic. Read Full Story

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Hasan Minhaj’s ‘Patriot Act’ wants to help you figure out what to do if you can’t pay rent

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Federal, state, and local COVID-19 relief plans have created a confusing mismatch of regulations about evictions and rent payments that can be hard to navigate. The show put together some helpful info. Rent is almost due again, but for many of the millions of Americans out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, their financial situation hasn’t changed. Nearly 20% of renters across the country did not pay their May rent in the first week of the month, and nearly 10% still didn’t by May 20 . Rent moratoriums and eviction protections are complicated and can vary from state to state. If you’re having trouble paying rent and aren’t sure what measures are in place to help you during this pandemic, you can now go to dontgetkickedout.com , a website of renter resources put together by the Netflix show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj . Read Full Story

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It’s time to cancel rent

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A national group of local politicians are calling on state governors to do more to protect renters than simply ban evictions, and recognize that people whose jobs have disappeared will never be able to afford back rent. As millions of newly laid-off Americans try to figure out how to pay rent for the month, with no clear sign of when they may be able to work again, city council members and advocates across the country are calling for a radical step: canceling rent payments. Read Full Story

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Middle class jobs for non-college grads have disappeared from big U.S. cities

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Workers without a four-year degree have seen their city earnings drop so much that even without rising rents, it would be enough to price them out of urban areas. A higher minimum wage could help. Cities are expensive. But it’s not only skyrocketing rents and increasing cost of living that are making them harder and harder places to live for non-wealthy residents. A lack of middle-class jobs for people without a four-year college education is also to blame. Decades ago, someone without a four-year degree could still make a middle-class living in an urban area, but now those jobs have largely disappeared. And the loss has hit Black and Latino workers the hardest. Read Full Story

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Which states are benefiting most from the IRS stimulus checks? Some blue states are left cold

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The economic stimulus checks go further in states with lower cost of living. See how your state stacks up. The Economic Impact Payment program is proving much more beneficial to residents of red states, according to a state-by-state analysis by Ownerly. Using U.S. Census data, the home-valuation platform calculated average stimulus check payouts per family, and compared those amounts to regional costs of living (rent, utilities, cable or satellite television, and mobile phone). Read Full Story

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Rent is almost due again: Here’s how well your state is protecting renters from eviction

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This scorecard explains what measures your state is doing to keep you in your house if you lost your job due to the pandemic. With millions of Americans out of work and unable to pay rent because of the coronavirus pandemic, activists and legislators have been pushing for protections like eviction moratoriums and leniency regarding late fees. With no policies coming from the federal government, though, it’s been up to individual states to make sure their residents have stable housing, at a time when access to safe housing is directly linked to public health—and not every state is taking the same steps. Read Full Story

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California is renting hotel rooms and RVs to protect the homeless from coronavirus

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Disease can spread rapidly throughout encampments, so the state wants to step in before that happens. In California, where more than 100,000 homeless people live on the street—at extra risk from the new coronavirus, and without any way to easily wash their hands or self-quarantine—the state government is now working to procure hotel and motel rooms and deploy hundreds of RVs to provide temporary shelter. Read Full Story

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