I am writing to you as a tenant experiencing intense financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. As you know, Governor Scott has declared a State of Emergency in Vermont due to this crisis. Many businesses across the state have been forced to cease operations, and many people including myself have been laid off without pay.
I have applied for all available assistance, but do not believe the available benefits are adequate to support my financial needs during this time, as they only account for a fraction of my previous income. The state unemployment system is experiencing an overwhelming amount of requests, resulting in lags. Very few of us anticipate we will begin receiving benefits in a time for our monthly expenses. I write this letter to urge you to consider rent forgiveness and to work with us to find ways to overcome this unprecedented crisis together as a community. At this point in time, I am only able to pay you ____ this month without going hungry.
I understand that this crisis is deeply affecting our entire community and that your ability to earn a living is also threatened. I encourage you to join with me in pressuring our state legislators to pass a mortgage and rent moratorium for the duration of the crisis with no debt accrued or back payments required. Banks have frozen mortgage payments and the accrual of interest on mortgages in other countries, and if landlords and tenants work together in this unstable time we can make this a reality in Burlington as well.
I hope you will grant this request, and look forward to having an amicable and productive discussion with you about it.