Millions of New York City tenants have been unable to pay their rents for the past several months, a situation that has in turn left building owners struggling to keep up with their mortgages.
A new report by the nonprofit Community Service Society (CSS) warns that this could set off a chain reaction that could ultimately lead to a housing crisis comparable in scale to the 2008 crash.
CSS President David Jones and Samuel Stein, a co-author of the report, joined Inside City Hall anchor Errol Louis on Thursday evening to explain that although the coronavirus pandemic has been the trigger for the current situation, the crisis has been in the making for decades.
They also urged political leaders to take immediate measures to stop the bleeding.
One solution they propose is what is known as “social housing," arrangements like limited-equity cooperatives and Tenant Interim Lease buildings, both of which give tenants more control of what happens with the buildings where they live.
Jones also supports legislation that would give priority to nonprofits that are interested in purchasing buildings that are facing foreclosure.
Jones says this would prevent private firms from scooping up these properties in order to boost their profits.