Late Thursday afternoon a report began circulating that the administration is asking states to delay releasing their unemployment numbers until the Department of Labor releases the total number of claims next week, and to report only using general terms. According to “The Washington Post, “More than a million workers are expected to lose their jobs by the end of March,” a stark contrast from February’s unemployment rate, which was near a record low. Michael Hicks, an economist at Ball State University, predicts that this could be the worst month for layoffs in U.S. history. Countless people are worried about paying bills, including their mortgages, rent and utility bills, and being able to buy food and medicine.
Some amazing landlords are trying to ease their tenants’ stress by foregoing collecting rent in April.
Paul Schumann is one of them:
Schumann has 21 units on Cleveland’s west side. Most of them are occupied by single people who work in the service industry. Bars and restaurants were mandated to close, and events were canceled amid coronavirus concerns.
“This applies to all my tenants. This is across the board. I have some people who don’t work in restaurants and are still able to work. But as long as I’m doing it, let’s do it across the board,” Schumann said.
Nathan Nichols has two tenants in South Portland, Maine. He posted his decision to not collect rent next month on Facebook and his post was shared more than 20,000 times:
A South Portland landlord is not collecting rent from his tenants for the month of April due to the coronavirus. He posted his decision on Facebook in hopes other landlords think about doing the same thing. His post has more than 20,000 shares @newscentermaine pic.twitter.com/A3xnftpz0L
— Roslyn Flaherty (@roslyn_flaherty) March 18, 2020
Nichols said of his tenants, “I know they’re kind of on edge. I knew they were going to be stressing out this month for sure.”
Landlords have bills to pay, too, of course, but if they can afford to not collect rent for a month or two, that’s a tremendous help to people who may have no idea when they are going to get paid again and have mounting expenses. It would be great if landlords across the country who could afford to do this would do the same, or even charge a lesser amount of rent. That would go a long way to relieving people’s stress and anxiety, which will only worsen if they end up getting sick on top of being laid off. Jimmy Fallon is filming mini-episodes of The Tonight Show from his home (with the help of his wife, Nancy, and his daughters, Frances and Winne), and he made a joke in his second broadcast (with Lin-Manuel Miranda!) about how it was “Day 83″ of being at home, and Nancy interrupted and said, “six.” People need all the help they can get right now, and I’m so glad that there are landlords who are trying to offer it.
Images credit: Andrew Neel and Bruno Moretti via Pexels.