Rental relief

Apartment buildings in New York City. Cities remain largely popular despite reports to the contrary, and rising mortgage rates won’t matter as much for housing affordability as limited supply.

More than a year since COVID-19 lockdowns put millions of apartment dwellers out of work, almost $47 billion in U.S. government rent relief is hitting the streets. For many landlords, it’s coming much too slowly.

Joaquin Villanueva, an airport janitor who owns a three-unit rental house in East Boston, had to take out a home-equity loan just to pay the bills. One tenant, eight months behind on rent, vanished one night in March. An unemployed restaurant dish washer in another unit owes $5,000.

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