Reopen NY: IThis New York city wants to cancel rent during the COVID-19 pandemic

ITHACA, New York (WABC) -- Ithaca, New York wants to cancel rent during the coronavirus pandemic.

Three-quarters of the residents are renters, but many have been forced out of work because of COVID-19.

A resolution passed earlier this month gives the mayor power to cancel rent debt from the last 3 months.

The resolution covers both residential tenants and small businesses.

It also freezes rent and requires landlords to offer lease extensions.



New York already temporarily banned evictions, first until June 20th and then extending the deadline until August 20th.

The city of Ithaca still needs approval from the state's health department.

The tenant's union is pushing to get that approval by the end of the week before the first eviction moratorium ends.

If it happens, Ithaca would be the first city in America to cancel rent because of the pandemic.

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