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Remember when New Yorkers began fleeing the city at the beginning of the pandemic, escaping to their summer homes in the Hamptons or snapping up houses in the country? Those who dreamed of living in New York suddenly saw an opportunity to make it happen as landlords dropped rents in a desperate effort to fill now-empty units.

Unfortunately, as renewals came due, their landlords stopped offering the “Covid discount” and began jacking up rents again, creating the city’s most competitive rental market in recent memory. It’s a housing crisis that’s mirrored in other big cities like Boston, San Francisco and Washington.