By Eli Saslow, Washington Post
As landlords and tenants go broke across the U.S., the next crisis point of the pandemic approaches.
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — The landlord had highlighted the first of the month on his office calendar and marked it as “Pay Day,” but now the first had come and gone, the one-week grace period was ending, and for the 13th consecutive month, Romeo Budhoo had collected less than half of his total rent. “Time to try begging for it,” he said, and he grabbed his booklet of receipts and walked out to his car.
He drove through the low-income neighborhoods of Schenectady, stopping at a half-dozen small homes that accounted for most of his income and all of his family’s savings. He cajoled $75 in cash from a laid-off hairdresser who owed him more than $7,000. “Thanks for at least trying to work with me,” he wrote on the rental receipt. He collected $200 from a renter who was $1,600 behind. “I’ll come back tomorrow,” Budhoo said, and then he continued up the street to his oldest property, a three-story home that had helped lift him into the middle class and was now sending him closer to bankruptcy.
Categories: Economics/Class Relations