Price gouging highest in neighborhoods hit hardest by COVID-19
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas announced Monday that, after analyzing the more than 10,000 complaints citywide about price gouging, the neighborhoods with the most complaints are many of the same neighborhoods that were hardest hit by COVID-19.
These neighborhoods, which are majority Black and Hispanic, are already financially vulnerable and, with median household incomes of approximately $30,000, can least afford to be gouged on lifesaving items like face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.
“To see that racial and economic disparities extend even to price gouging is disheartening,” said DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “So many of the Black and Brown New Yorkers in these neighborhoods work on the frontlines — especially in low-wage service industries like grocery stores and restaurants.”
Since March 5, DCWP has received more than 12,000 price gouging complaints and issued more than 15,200 violations for price gouging. The number of complaints received weekly has slowly declined since reaching a peak of 2,108 in mid-March and the Agency now receives a few dozen complaints per week.