Tag Archives: evictions

Tenants are Facing Eviction Across America

New Orleans       Recession is here.  Layoffs are in the millions.  The service industry is hammered.  Small businesses are underwater, while the Senate Republicans are only listening to big corporations.  Trump is trying to elbow Dr. Fauci out of the way for getting too much attention as a truthteller at his fabricated daily press conferences spinning out whatever comes to mind in his happy valley.  I have to admit, he tricked me for a minute, as well.  When he said he was halting evictions nationally, I thought he was talking about tenants.  It turns out he had conflated the terms “evictions” and “foreclosures.”  He was ordering a temporary halt to foreclosures for homeowners.  HUD has frozen evictions for public housing tenants, but otherwise the federal government is silent on the fate of forty million tenants across the country.

Other countries where ACORN works have acted on our demands for tenants.  The United Kingdom has frozen evictions.  Canada has taken action.  France has halted evictions.  In the United States, once again, leadership has defaulted to states and cities, but the pattern is patchy and in many cases the relief is extremely short term and undefined.

At the state level, California has halted evictions until May 31st.  Delaware has “paused” until May 1st, while Illinois has paused until April 8th.  Indiana has stopped evictions “until the crisis is over.” Louisiana has stepped up and stopped all evictions indefinitely.  Maryland has acted “only for tenants related to the virus.”  Massachusetts has blocked evictions.  Michigan has done so until April 17th.  New Hampshire has stopped them, and New Jersey has haled for sixty days.  New York has stood tall and said none for three months.  North Carolina has said thirty days.  Pennsylvania has stopped them only for a minute until April 3rd.  Rhode Island is in for thirty days, as is Texas and Washington.  Virginia has blocked until April 8th.  Maybe I’m missing something, but my rough count is some action from almost nothing to three months has been taken by seventeen states, and, yes, the District of Columbia has suspended, and absolutely nothing has been done in thirty-three states.  Some cities have done much better, but it’s not a  huge parade there either.

Don’t get me wrong according to various websites, some of them are talking about it and even thinking about it, but people are hurting and worrying, and they are fiddling.  Most of this data, I found at a website connected to something called fool.com, which gives a sense to all of us of who is really keeping track.

This jigsaw puzzle is actually why we have a federal government and need a president or someone around there to take action and remember that tenants count too, not just the big boys with the three-piece suits.  That is something we need to put on our list for later.

In the meantime, we need to stop evictions now!

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Thanks to WAMF.

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Stop Evictions and Freeze Rents

Pearl River     The ACORN Union in England has launched a petition in the wake of the coronavirus that has already gained 3000 signatures and rising.

As reported in The Independent

The ACORN union, which supports tenants, workers and residents, launched a petition this week urging the government to enact temporary rent freezes for renters suffering with the virus or self-isolating for the period of their self-isolation and recovery.  The group also wants an immediate halt on section 21 and section 8 evictions.

Although the US House of Representatives passed a package of support, some of which deal with the issues of low-and-moderate income people, the details are unclear and the Senate has yet to act.  The situation for tenants seems not to have been addressed.

City Lab surveys other countries and found an aggressive response in Singapore, which is getting huge accolades for its handling of the crisis, and Italy, caught in the throes of the virus:

In Singapore, government agencies took steps to stop the unfair expulsions of people who took state-ordered leaves of absence from work, underwent self-quarantine, or were being discriminated against based on race during the earlier days of the coronavirus outbreak.  “Landlords found to have irresponsibly evicted their residents may face restrictions and   even be barred from renting out their flats to foreign work pass-holders in future,” read a joint press release by the ministries of National Development, Education, and Manpower.  And in Italy, where the entire country is under quarantine, the deputy economic minister said all mortgage payments will be suspended.

San Francisco and Los Angeles both have measures advancing to halt evictions for workers and families losing jobs or under quarantine.  These aren’t perfect plans, but they are positive responses.  Again, as reported by City Lab,

After the new eviction moratorium rules take effect in both cities, any renter who provides documentation — in the form of pay stubs, for example — that coronavirus-related issues have affected their ability to earn income will have the right to fight an eviction proceeding. The ordinance does not waive rent payments entirely; it just defers them, and prevents landlords from moving forward with unfair oustings.

Lower-income students are also at risk on many levels.  Congress is talking about suspending interest charges during the crisis, but as we know from England and Ireland, students are hard pressed as tenants in precarious housing as well.  No work and no school, puts many in a double bind.

Here’s the point.  We have an affordable housing crisis worldwide.  Tenants are at risk everywhere.  Governments have to step up to prevent mass homelessness and evictions.

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