Housing official: 'We estimate that around 300,000 tenants are going to be unable to pay rent'

It's the first of the month and that means rent is due for the nearly half a million people who live in apartments in Connecticut and are now worried about making that payment during the pandemic.
"We estimate that around 300,000 tenants are going to be unable to pay the rent today," says Erin Kemple, with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center.
Kemple says if you can't pay you should contact your landlord. She says many landlords are willing to work out a deal.
"If you can't get in touch with your landlord -- and that's what we're hearing from a lot of people -- that they can't get in touch with their landlord because the office is closed, because they have so many calls that they're not picking up -- write a letter," says Kemple.
Gov. Ned Lamont has stopped all evictions for the next three months.
"You can stay in your home," says Lamont. "Your business can stay where it is."
Some groups say, however, that it is not enough. They want rent temporarily suspended, similar to the mortgage freeze Lamont announced for homeowners.
"Right now, let's deal with what I've got," says Lamont  "There are no evictions and we've got forbearance on all your mortgage payments."
Kemple says she thinks the worst-case scenario is that come May 1 a lot of people will owe rent plus late fees and costs, and lawyers fees.