PHILIPSBURG–Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs on Friday called on landlords to be patient with their tenants who have lost their jobs noting that the unemployed will be receiving assistance from government, which they can use to pay bills such as their rents.
She also urged tenants, who are still employed and receiving an income to pay their rents and not use her call for patience from landlords to ignore their responsibilities.
During a national address on Friday evening Jacobs said government is currently in discussions with the Netherlands for assistance to implement its economic and social stimulus plan, which will reach everyone who is out of work as result of the coronavirus COVID-19 or before. Persons who have not yet registered as unemployed with the Department of Social Services should do so to ensure that they are “on the list” for assistance. “If you are not on anyone’s employment list then you will be on our unemployment list that you will also receive a stipend to get you over the hump and allow you to purchase food and pay rent,” she said.
“I am asking landlords to please be humane. Do not threaten to throw the persons in your homes, out of their house out especially if they have lost their jobs,” Jacobs plead. “Those with jobs and salaries, pay your rent. Not because we are asking the landlord not to put you out, you should not do your civic duty and live up to the contract that you have signed. As long as you do have the funds pay your rent, and for those who are not able to pay their rent, as soon as we get our stimulus plan in place then you will be able to do so. I ask landlords to be patient.”
She said government received its 2018 and 2019 budget support from the Netherlands. This is not related to the COVID-19 assistance that government has requested from the Netherlands. Once the 2020 budget has been passed, government is also expecting capital funds to be transferred so that “much needed” construction work can start in the country. “While we understand that all in Dutch Kingdom are suffering, we know the acute need that we have had since our dilemma with Hurricanes Irma and Maria.”
Jacobs will also request Finance Minister Ardwell Irion to make a statement on the issue of landlords and tenants.