Stimulus round 2? Bail out renters!
Updated: Aug 2
The one-time $1200 stimulus checks have all but dried up for most of us. Meanwhile the $600 unemployment lifeline is set to expire July 25th along with the federal ban on evictions in subsidized housing, amidst signs that millions of job losses during the pandemic will be permanent. Across the country, renters are struggling to make ends meet as the economic recession deepens and Covid-19 spikes drastically.
Renters need relief now! All missed or deferred rent needs to be forgiven with no late fees charged, evictions must be halted indefinitely and wiped from the records of those who have already been illegally served, and rent must be frozen for the duration of this crisis. We cannot rely on Congress to deliver this. To fight off mass evictions and a disastrous influx in homelessness, we will need to organize ourselves.
Senator Lindsey Graham said the $600 per week will be extended "over my dead body.” Republicans want to replace the unemployment expansion with a back-to-work bonus, forcing millions of workers to choose: either go to work and get sick, or stay home and default on bills.
Democrats on the other hand are talking about providing more money to renters to prevent evictions. Some propose extending the federal eviction moratorium through March 2021. This is a step forward, but it is not nearly enough to meet the scope of this crisis, which will take a mass mobilization of working class people who will be devastated, even killed, by these reckless attempts to restore corporate profits.
Whatever these politicians propose in the end will inevitably bend to the profit-driven demands of landlords and corporate lobbyists, not the needs of working class renters! We on the other hand have tremendous collective power when we organize around our mutual interests, safety, and security. Renters rise up!