May 18, 2020
An Open Letter to New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
YONKERS, NY — May 16, 2020 — I am 100 percent on board to assist tenants as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis which has impacted tenants’ concerns vis-a-vis their anxiety level regarding their capacity to meet their monthly rent. Despite your concern and empathy regarding tenants, I suggest, with all due respect, that your approach does not meet the needs of tenants. At no fault of anyone, this pandemic has affected the lives of the entire world, yet it seems your approach is one-sided and thereby deleterious to all affected. You cannot suspend the moratorium and provide relief to “just the tenants.” To be effective, a plan for relief must be made for all parties concerned.
My suggestion is quite simple. Any tenant in New York State (NYS) that is suffering financial hardship due to COVID-19 should immediately be placed under Section-8 or welfare standards. This will enable automatic rental payments to be sent directly to landlords. The funds would not even need to be sent to the tenant and would instead be a direct payment to their landlord, in the same manner that Section-8 or welfare works now. In addition, this legal construct would eliminate the risk of any and all tenants being evicted for not maintaining their legal contractual obligation as stipulated in their lease agreement to their landlord to secure housing for their family.
The current form of relief, that is stimulus checks, simply does not work because it is a temporary fix, that will not relieve the anxiety fomented by an eviction. There is in fact no assurance that those stimulus checks are being used to pay rent, food, utilities, etc. To ensure rental payments are made will deliver confidence to the tenants and the government that they have protected their people. This will eliminate the risk of adding to the already high homeless count in NYS as opposed to extending the moratorium which will only delay a possible eviction whereby this solution eliminates an eviction entirely.
This solution will help our economy and protect the real estate market in New York State.
It goes without saying, though it does not hurt to say so, adopting this concept will elevate your leadership skills beyond that of Governor; hero comes to mind.
This is a win-win for everyone. By adopting this concept Gov. Cuomo, you will be helping tenants and simultaneously protecting the economy. I humbly ask for your reconsideration.
/s/ Michael Nukho, CPM
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