Erik McGregor Photography

Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist.

Tenants and Housing Activists bring the fight to Slumlord’s home in Bushwick

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Brooklyn, NY – Tenants and Housing Activists gathered at Maria Hernandez Park for a rally and march through the streets of Bushwick on July 5, 2020 demanding the city administration to cancel rent immediately as the financial situation for many New Yorkers remains the same, strapped for cash and out of work. Participants ended the march right ot the doorstep of a slumlord’s home.

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The protest was joined and supported by celebrities suck as actress and Buswick resident Lea DeLaria and Paperboy Love Prince, a Democratic Candidate running for Congressional District 7.

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The patchwork of city and state moratoriums on evictions are not enough. In a few months when these moratoriums are lifted and the rents come due — we will still not have the money!

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Now is the time to act to cancel rents and mortgage payments for tenants, homeowners, small landlords and other small businesses! Massive testing and personal protective equipment are still not available, despite the great productive capacity of the United States.

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In December 2019, when COVID-19 presented in China, the United States was warned that we would be affected. Instead of using the next two months to prepare, Trump and the U.S. government ignored public health experts, even ridiculing them. Now, due to this lack of preparedness, the United States has become the epicenter of the pandemic.

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As a result of the economic crisis, at least 30 percent of renters will be unable to pay their rent on June 1st. No one should lose their housing for any reason in this crisis! The rents and mortgages must be cancelled!

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A short-term suspension of evictions is not enough to save people’s homes. And the meager rescue stimulus payments the government provided are long gone for most people. Even if there is another one, it will be needed for food, healthcare and other necessities.

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Canceling rents and mortgage payments for the duration of the crisis can be won! Since the start of the pandemic in the United States, the federal government has pumped at least 5 trillion dollars into the big banks and the largest corporations.

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Only $249 billion was allocated for unemployment funding. This massive gift to the banks — the 1% at the top, compared to the 160 million U.S. workers — is 20 times the amount allotted for the unemployed.

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The money is there, it is simply a question of whether it is used to bail out Wall Street or to protect the homes of poor and working people. This wealth and the vast number of vacant housing units can be used to provide shelter for the homeless as well.

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The government has the authority to cancel the rent. In fact, a bill has already been introduced in Congress, the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act . But this will be bitterly opposed by the landlords and big banks. The mobilization of the people, done in a socially responsible way, is urgently needed to ensure housing for all.

Tenants and Housing Activists bring the fight to Slumlord's home in Bushwick

© Erik McGregor – erikrivas@hotmail.com – 917-225-8963

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