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  • One immediate problem that millions of Americans are facing is making their rent, as you just

  • heard, or mortgage payment. Nearly a third of people who rented an apartment didn't pay

  • any of their rent -- any of their rent -- during the first week of April, according to one

  • analysis.

  • A separate poll found about half of small businesses have not paid their full rent or

  • mortgage yet either.

  • Paul Solman looks at the problems renters and landlords are facing.

  • It's part of his reporting for Making Sense.

  • EUNICE BAE, Actress: Come on. Do a session with me.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: Eunice Bae is an actress, sporadic short-term gigs, monthly Manhattan rent.

  • EUNICE BAE: Dude!

  • I wasn't making a lot of money this winter, and I actually fell behind on rent one month.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: And then along came COVID-19.

  • EUNICE BAE: I was actually doing well enough this first quarter that I was on the path

  • to finally being able to pay off that missing month, and then the virus hit, and then everything

  • went away.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: With theaters dark everywhere in the country, work nonexistent, Bae quickly

  • called unemployment insurance.

  • EUNICE BAE: I am one of the lucky few that I got through to unemployment on Monday, after

  • 389 calling attempts. Every time I hit the green button, I made a tally mark.

  • And from what I hear, that's a success story.

  • (LAUGHTER)

  • PAUL SOLMAN: But successfully filing is another matter entirely.

  • EUNICE BAE: You need to stipulate each employer, their federal employer identification number

  • and your last day of working. As a gig worker, I had, I think, 11 employers in the last 18

  • months.

  • But for the work I did this quarter, I haven't gotten any paperwork from them yet, because

  • it's not the end of the year. I don't know if I have been approved. I don't know if I'm

  • eligible. I don't know how much I will be getting, or when, if at all.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: Bae's is the plight of tenants everywhere in this country right now.

  • MARIO SALERNO, Brooklyn Landlord: Would you like a doughnut?

  • PAUL SOLMAN: So much so that Brooklyn landlord Mario Salerno, who also runs a sizable auto

  • repair business, has become a New York hero and local media celebrity for waiving the

  • April rent for his 200 or so tenants.

  • MARIO SALERNO: I had tenants that said they can't work, they didn't have money to pay

  • me. I says, don't worry about paying me. Worry about your neighbor. Worry about your family.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: But fellow Brooklyn landlord Chris Athineos, nine buildings, 150 units,

  • says he can't afford such largess.

  • CHRIS ATHINEOS, Brooklyn Landlord: My oldest building was built in 1850, when, I think,

  • Millard Fillmore was president of the United States. We have facades that need to be maintained,

  • roofs, plumbing, electrical. It never ends.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: Not to mention utilities, staff salaries, and the largest obligation of all:

  • CHRIS ATHINEOS: Our mortgage payment, which includes an escrow amount for our real estate

  • taxes.

  • I do fear, if there's a big drop off in rent collection, people are not working, can't

  • pay rent, then how will I pay the mortgage?

  • PAUL SOLMAN: Jan Lee's family has owned two buildings in Manhattan's Chinatown for nearly

  • a century. But the 22 apartments are rent-stabilized, a form of semi-rent control. So his three

  • commercial properties subsidize the residential tenants, he says.

  • JAN LEE, Manhattan Landlord: And the cosmetic store closed even before the lockdown happened,

  • because she also did facials. And, obviously, this close, intimate contact, of course, nobody

  • would want to come. And she didn't want to do them either.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: His other two commercial leases are for restaurants, one of them, Hop Kee,

  • a Chinatown landmark for over 50 years.

  • PETER LEE, Hop Kee Restaurant: Well, the situation leaves a lot of people with no choice but

  • to close up.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: So will Jan Lee's commercial tenants keep paying their rent?

  • JAN LEE: I only received rent from one of my commercial tenants, and I don't think I

  • will receive any rent for the for the month of May.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: And if he can't pay his real estate taxes on July 1?

  • JAN LEE: There's an automatic lien on your property. That lien is sold to a third party,

  • companies that purchase liens. And it's up to them to charge whatever they want for the

  • interest. And it's always in double digits. It's way more than your -- your worst credit

  • card.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: Double digits?

  • JAN LEE: Oh, absolutely. You're looking at a potential foreclosure very, very, very quickly

  • of small property owners.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: George Sweeting of the city's Independent Budget Office says foreclosure

  • could take awhile. But that still leaves the big question.

  • Is the city going to cut small landlords some slack on their taxes?

  • GEORGE SWEETING, New York City Independent Budget Office: It may decide to do that. But,

  • when it does that, it has to think about where the money will come from to make up the lost

  • property tax revenue.

  • The city needs that property tax revenue to do its basic services, teach kids, pay the

  • police, pay the fire, pay the sanitation. And right now, there's not evidence that the

  • federal government, with all of its stimulus programs, is actually going to deliver much

  • assistance to local governments.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: Meanwhile, an online movement has started in New York and elsewhere: #cancelrent.

  • NICOLAS RETSINAS, Harvard University: That can lead to unraveling of property tax revenues,

  • of insurance proceeds, of utility bills.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: New York state has put a 90-day moratorium on evictions.

  • GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I want to protect the people of the state of New York as much

  • as I

  • PAUL SOLMAN: But, says housing economist Nicolas Retsinas, if tenants use that as a reason

  • to stop paying rent:

  • NICOLAS RETSINAS: I wouldn't call a ticking time bomb, but it's certainly, I think, a

  • loud alarm clock that says, in 90 to 120 days, all of a sudden, these rents will become due.

  • And these people are still unemployed, waiting in an unemployment line, getting unemployment

  • insurance, they're not going to be able to pay their rent, and the alarm will go off.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: OK, for Eunice Bae, the theater industry is moribund. And looking ahead:

  • EUNICE BAE: There's a lot more people out of work competing for a very finite amount

  • of jobs, and maybe even less jobs than before, because some theaters may not be able to open

  • up after this is all done.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: Brooklyn landlord Chris Athineos:

  • CHRIS ATHINEOS: I have a vacant apartment, and I have a couple of tenants whose leases

  • were expiring, and they have already told me they're not planning to renew their lease.

  • I'm afraid, how am I going to rent those apartments?

  • The whole city is shut down. Certainly, no one is moving here from outside of New York

  • City to get a job.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: And no one is coming to Chinatown.

  • JAN LEE: The restaurants don't have bookings. We are very, very close to completely losing

  • everything that my family has built up for three generations. And we are not unique.

  • PAUL SOLMAN: And, thus, the looming cascade: no jobs, to no rent, to no taxes, in which

  • case, how do cities like New York come back when its people return to the streets?

  • For the "PBS NewsHour," Paul Solman, still home.

One immediate problem that millions of Americans are facing is making their rent, as you just

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紐約房東拖欠租客租金 (New York landlord distressed tenant rents )

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    ety 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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