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Ithaca Approves Historic #CancelRent Legislation

Ithaca, New York is the first city in the nation to go through with a plan to cancel rent, giving three-quarters of the residents in the city a needed safety net as the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic crisis persists into the summer.
June 15, 2020, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Rent Jubilee
David Odisho

"Ithaca, New York, where nearly three-quarters of residents are renters, and COVID-19 has forced many out of work, a new resolution gives the mayor the power to cancel rent debt from the last three months, both for tenants and small businesses," report Adele Peters.

The Ithaca Common Council approved the resolution on a 6-4 vote, and now it will be up to the state's Department of Health to approve the legislation and work with the city to implement the plan, according to a post by the Ithaca Tenants Union that calls the resolution the nation's first emergency tenant protection act. 

"The new resolution in Ithaca calls for more funding from the state to cover rent so landlords won’t lose money, though [Genevieve Rand, an organizer for Ithaca Tenants Union] emphasizes that tenants are in a more precarious position," according to Peters. 

The article includes more details about the national context of the #CancelRent movement, which Ithaca now moves to the forefront of at a time when many observers are expecting to see the housing market take a turn for the worse, especially for renters.

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Published on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 in FastCompany
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