Local Officials should take the following actions to mitigate the devastating economic effects the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our communities and ensure that all individuals and families are stably housed.
Issue an executive order to halt evictions for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. At a time when the government is telling people to stay at home, it is essential that people also hear that they are secure in their home with a roof over their head.
Temporarily prohibit enforcement of local laws that target those experiencing homelessness including encampment sweeps, vehicle towing, and enforcement of sit-sleep-lie ordinances as well as enforcement of eviction and foreclosure orders; prohibit local utilities from shutting off service, rate increases, application of late fees, and require restoration of service.
City Council/County Boards should:
Adopt an emergency ordinance imposing a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions, rent increase, and late fees through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.This emergency ordinance can alleviate three of the leading causes of homelessness —evictions, rent increases and job loss — and create greater housing stability for renters, thereby helping to ensure the public’s health and safety during this emergency and crisis. In addition, this ordinance would protect small businesses and workers who have been severely impacted by shelter in place orders and other consequences of COVID-19.
Call on state and federal legislators to provide relief to low-income homeowners and landlords.
Impose a moratorium on encampment sweeps, closures and vehicle tows. Sweeps pose a serious health risk because they disrupt access to services and ability for outreach and health care workers to provide consistent care.
Move people unhoused or living in shelters to hotels paid for by the government.
Increase funding to protect people who are unhoused.
Prohibit local utilities from shutting off service, rate increases, application of late fees, and require restoration of service to all residents whose taps had previously been shut off due to debt.
Urge banks and utility companies to freeze foreclosures and utility debt.
Enact Tenant Opportunities to Purchase Acts (TOPA) to prevent future displacement.
Fund land trusts that assist tenants to utilize TOPA and create limited equity Co-ops
County and City Marshalls and Sheriffs should:
Stop enforcing pending or new eviction orders and cease executing writs of possession.
Temporarily prohibit enforcement of local laws that target those experiencing homelessness such as encampment sweeps, vehicle towing, and enforcement of sit-sleep-lie ordinances.
Local Court Officials and the County’s Chief Judge should:
Close local civil courts and temporarily suspend current cases including eviction and foreclosure proceedings already in court.
Temporarily prohibit the filing of new court cases in the local court such as filing or new eviction or foreclosure actions.
Prevent tenants from being evicted under prior settlement agreements by extending time for tenants to move out or pay back rent.