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Tenants in the US are planning the largest rent strike in decades as the coronavirus cuts off more than 30 million people from their incomes

 

Business Insider - "Before the COVID-19 virus, 70% of our income went toward rent," said Vanessa Bulnes, 61, her voice crackling over a Zoom call with housing organizers and media on Thursday. 

Like tens of millions of tenants around the country, Bulnes and her 71-year-old husband, who live in Oakland, California, are out of work.

Even before the crisis, housing was not affordable, she said. Her husband suffered a stroke just before the 2009 financial crisis, and she's been the sole breadwinner ever since.

"We've always been on the edge of homelessness," Bulnes, an organizer with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, said.

On Friday, May 1, Bulnes will join the legion of tenants unable to pay rent. It's not clear exactly how many renters will go on strike, but organized efforts in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Colorado, California, Washington state, and elsewhere point to the largest rent strike in decades.

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