By Free the People We Also Mean Cancel the Rent

By Kristin Richardson Jordan and Chi Ossé

Picture of Kristin Richardson Jordan (KRJ) and Chi Ossé at Black Lives Matter March on July 4th 2020

It is the beginning of the month and rent is due.

Nearly 70% of New Yorkers rent their homes. Although the eviction moratorium has been extended, rent debts will continue to accrue and cripple our community unless we cancel rent payments.

We are facing the worst economic and health crisis of our time. There is still no vaccine to treat COVID-19. Families have received only one stimulus check since April. Millions remain unemployed. It is simply unconscionable to require low to middle income New Yorkers to pay their rent during this unprecedented moment in history.

As Black Lives Matter activists and local community organizers as well as prospective New York City Council Candidates for Central Harlem and Brooklyn, we recognize that canceling rent is essential to the future sustainability of our city and the welfare of our people. When the rent moratorium is eventually lifted, renters who have not been able to keep up with their rent will be subject to non-payment claims filed by their landlords. Repaying accrued rent during a pandemic is not feasible for the millions of New Yorkers who are struggling during this crisis — especially those who are already living below the poverty line. Holding these families accountable for past due rent payments will result in an influx of homelessness.

Our elected officials can still decide to cancel rent and forgive all accrued debt thereby bringing relief to millions of struggling New Yorkers.

We demand a total and immediate cancellation of rent payments.




Candidate for NY City Council District 9 (Central Harlem) Kristin for H.A.R.L.E.M. aka KRJ visit