Things That Matter

Rent Is Due And Here’s What You Need To Know If You Aren’t Able To Pay It This Month

The Coronavirus pandemic has hit the economy extremely hard. Millions of people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic – in fact, we’re seeing figures not seen since the Great Depression during the 1930s.

The Latino community is particularly vulnerable to unemployment as many of the jobs being lost are in the service sector as shops, hotels, and restaurants close their doors amid widespread stay-at-home orders. According to a recent poll, more than one in three Latino households have experienced job loss due to the virus.

Obviously, these job losses are making it nearly impossible for people to afford daily essentials like food and medicines, let alone rent. If you find yourself struggling to pay next month’s rent – here’s what you need to know.

Record-breaking job losses and uncertain futures are forcing people to make tough decisions.

Across the country, tenant advocates and housing lawyers are sounding alarms that an increasing number of renters will not be able to pay rent on May 1st. What’s more, they are concerned many renters will lose their homes as suspensions on evictions phase out and rent relief is not widely available.

“We know that when the economy goes into decline, people of color always bear the brunt,’’ said Teresa Candori, communications director for the National Urban League told NBC Latino. “We will be fighting to make sure the most vulnerable communities are not an afterthought.”

In the last month, more than 16 million people applied for jobless benefits, according to the Labor Department. That number is expected to increase, and the unemployment rate may ultimately reach 32%.

Even though the coronavirus has significantly altered most aspects of daily life, one thing that hasn’t changed is the cost of living. Though some workers are fortunate to still have their jobs, many – especially people of color – will be forced to make tough decisions about which bills get paid.

First, you need to protect yourself and know your rights as a tenant.

It’s always best to be prepared. Even outside of this pandemic, you should know what rights you have as a renter. The laws are different from city to city and state to state; the best thing to do is google something like “tenants rights (NAME OF YOUR TOWN)” and find a local organization to connect with.

Right now, many governments have issues eviction moratoriums. For example, New York suspended evictions for residential and commercial tenants affected by the coronavirus for 90 days. Housing courts are closed so you can’t be taken to court for nonpayment of rent for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

Similarly, in California, there is a moratorium on evictions for failure to pay rent through the end of May. However, you have to prove that you’re unable to pay rent due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. You also have to write your landlord within seven days of rent being due, declaring your inability to pay and providing an explanation as to why.

Talk to your landlord about setting up a payment plan.

Credit: Pixabay

Any reasonable landlord knows that people are going to have a hard time making rent. A few have even waived payments for April in recognition of that fact, and while your landlord is not likely among them, they might accept partial payment or agree to set up a payment plan. That conversation should be started as soon as possible.

There’s no way to hide from your landlord—you should reach out now if you think you’re going to have a problem making rent by May 1, and you shouldn’t avoid talking to your landlord if you haven’t been able to pay for April.

If your landlord does agree to some kind of payment plan, make sure that the precise terms are documented and signed off on by both you and your landlord. This should include how much your modified rent will be, how long that change in rent will last, and whether you will be expected to pay back any deferred payments.

Also, it’s important to know that you have a bit of leverage given the economic situation.

So aside from the many eviction moratoriums enacted across the country, even if your landlord could evict you for not paying rent – who are they going to replace you with? Right now, amid a global health pandemic, isn’t exactly an ideal time to be looking for new tenants. And with so many people out of work struggling to pay their current rent, there’s not many likely new applications out there either.

Now, you should definitely use this leverage if you have to but don’t be too pushy with it – you want the landlord on your side.

Lastly, look for help and stay on top of the news.

In March, the federal government passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package that included direct payments of $1,200 to millions of Americans. However, that aid left out millions of others – largely already vulnerable, immigrant populations. You can check to see if you’re eligible and the status of your stimulus payment here.

If you’re in California, the state has made available stimulus payments of up to $500 to undocumented residents. And cities from Oakland to Dallas and Miami have all instituted programs to help those affected by the virus pay for their housing expenses.

You may also consider finding help from local food banks (however, those too are under extreme strain) or from mutual aid groups, where strangers help those in need.

MLS Players Test Positive As Teams Travel To Florida To Start Tournament

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MLS Players Test Positive As Teams Travel To Florida To Start Tournament

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

The numbers are startling. The number of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. is skyrocketing and breaking records for the number of infections almost daily. One of the hardest-hit states in Florida and the MLS is determined to bring their season back using Florida as their meeting ground.

MLS athletes and staff members are testing positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Florida.

Major League Soccer is one of the first sports to attempt to restart its season. Fans were excited about the decision to restart the sport and MLS officials set their sights on the Walt Disney World Resort. Teams were flown down to Orlando to create a bubble to restart the sport as safely as possible.

Florida is experiencing one of the most severe spikes in cases in the country and the MLS is not immune to the spread.

Florida recently reported more than 10,000 cases July 1, a record for the state, and within 1,000 infections from the nation’s record set in New York. Orange County, which is home to Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort, is facing one of the most devastating outbreaks in the state.

There is a lot of chatter about whether or not is possible for this bubble idea to work.

“So far, most guys have been sticking to their rooms, playing video games, FIFA and 2K. We’ve had the opportunity share meals together, which was nice because I haven’t eaten in a group in a long time,” San Jose defender Tommy Thompson told Tampa Bay Times. “It felt great to be back on the field. When we all got on that bus together and started to train with contact, it felt really good.”

Fans are questioning if this idea is going to work.

Some players have told the press that they do feel safe in the bubble as the teams practice and prepare for the MLS is Back Tournament.

“Everyone is wearing masks, some guys are wearing gloves, and I feel safe 100 percent,” Dallas midfielder Tanner Tessmann told Tampa Bay Times. “They separated us on the buses and on the plane. We are staying one to a room in the hotel. So, I feel really safe. They have good procedures in place, so everything should go smoothly.”

The MLS is Back Tournament is set to begin July 8, considering everything goes according to plan. The rest of the teams are expected to arrive this week with the first game between Inter Miami and Orlando City.

READ: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Is Calling For A Repeal Of Its Kneeling Policy During The National Anthem

Man Posts Plea For People To Social Distance After Falling Ill Of COVID-19 And Died The Next Day

Things That Matter

Man Posts Plea For People To Social Distance After Falling Ill Of COVID-19 And Died The Next Day

Tommy Macias / Facebook

The world is still in the midst of a deadly viral pandemic. COVID-19 is not going away on its own and there are things that people can do to slow the spread. One of the most effective tools is wearing a mask followed up by social distancing. One man thought he could ease up and contracted the virus. Here is his warning.

A man known as Tommy Macias died one day after warning people about the dangers of COVID-19.

Credit: Tommy Macias / Facebook

Macias died the next day after posting this message on Facebook warning his friends and family about the dangers of COVID-19. According to the man’s post, he attended a party and contracted the virus there. Health experts have warned against gathering with friends and family right now. Parties have become some of the most infectious sites leading to the current outbreaks across the country.

Macias’s Facebook post touches on a point that drives home the importance of wearing face masks. After being exposed, he then exposed his entire family because he ignored health regulations.

The man’s death from COVID-19 has created a fear among his friends.

“Don’t take advantage of the unknown, don’t expect things to be fine. Take this shit seriously,” @flawlessbikerzcordova wrote on Instagram. “I had been diligent about wearing my mask but from time to time loosen up around the crew and friends. Not anymore!”

The U.S. is seeing a spike in cases across several states and cases are increasing in 35 states. The U.S. has seen record infection numbers in recent days and that trend is mirrored in Calfornia where the sudden reopening of the economy led to a runaway outbreak in the state.

Macias is now one of the more than 127,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19.

According to NBC News, the Riverside County Office of Vital Records confirmed that Macias did die from COVID-19. According to Macias’s brother-in-law, Macias was diligent about wearing his mask and following health regulations. However, when California Governor Gavin Newsom signaled rapid reopening within weeks in June, Macias felt safe letting down his guard.

“He was quarantining because he was overweight and had diabetes,” Lopez told NBC News in explaining how careful Macias has been.

Macias’s death is a warning to Americans.

As the quarantining drags on due to reopening reversals, fatigue is setting in with Americans about self-isolation. With a holiday weekend underway, Macias’s message is a warning call to Americans as social distancing is forgotten and people argue over masks.

Health experts continue to stress the importance of wearing face masks when out in public and to stay away from indoor gatherings with friends, like parties. It might be uncomfortable and you might not like it but it is what we need to do to get back this virus.

Please stay safe, smart, and follow health guidelines this 4th of July weekend.

READ: #TheWorldReopenedAnd Is Highlighting All The Ways We Are Failing In Our Response To COVID-19