Thousands can’t pay their rent in CDMX and survive by auctioning off their stuff.

The terrible economic crisis left by the layoffs and the general lack of work, thousands of people, cannot even cover the rent; they survive by auctioning off their belongings.

MEXICO CITY (El Universal) – The economic situation is killing rent payments in Mexico City due to the pandemic. After losing her job, Melisa shared the rent of an apartment with a roommate and started a business selling frozen food to get some income. She already sold her furniture. 

At 28 years of age, Melisa is one more victim of Covid-19, not because she was infected, but because in four months she lost her job, her apartment and her sister, with whom she lived, who was also fired and chose to go to Cancun to look for opportunities. Thus, the pandemic ended her dreams of independence.

Today, she lives with a roommate, who supports her with rent and other expenses, while she finds a job. With sadness, she accepts that the situation forced her to sell all the furniture that she bought with her sister, and she has left her computer and clothes. This is what the economic crisis left her, which thousands of people in the capital are now experiencing because of the pandemic.

Mel, as she is called, is not the only one who lost everything. The same thing has happened to the small workshops, butchers, stationers, and other businesses since the government’s economic support are insufficient.

Such is the case of the cultural company Seña y Verbo, which had five deaf actors and six hearing ones. Still, because the cultural institutions, both official and private, withdrew their contracts, today, not only did two actors quit, but the company will have to leave the property they rented five years ago on Saratoga Street, in the Portales neighborhood.

Antonio Cruz, an interpreter, and manager of the company regrets that “we dropped all our contracts because of the pandemic. The group has existed since 1993, but now it is at risk of disappearing, as we do not know when we will be hired again. There is no money for salaries and rent,” says the young man who survives by offering classes over the Internet.

According to a study by Habitat International Coalition, a global network of 410 housing organizations, in terms of rent, approximately two out of every five contract renewals have been canceled due to lack of work and income.

In this regard, the Ministry of Labor recorded the loss of approximately 350,000 jobs in Mexico City from mid-March to the last day of July. As the pandemic evolves, it expects more layoffs.

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) estimates that 15% of households in Mexico are renters whose income consumes 22.1% of family income.

Besides, it refers to the fact that 1 out of every 4 of the 2.5 million homes in the capital is rented; that is, approximately 700,000, the equivalent of almost twice the population of Cuernavaca.

The damage caused by the semi-paralyzation of the economy in the city has caused the non-payment of rent in more than 30% of the properties, according to data from the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval).

A 63% of the people who face difficulties to afford this expenditure are in Benito Juarez, with 18.12%, followed by Miguel Hidalgo, Cuauhtemoc, Coyoacan and Alvaro Obregon, with 16.41%, 15.69%, 9.23%, and 7.79%, respectively, as revealed by the Real Estate Market Report 2020, made by Lamudi.