Extend and Support a Wisconsin Eviction Moratorium - Sign the Petition! Jan 22

February 1st will be a traumatic day for thousands of Wisconsinites (from RUCUS). When the CDC Moratorium on evictions is lifted on January 31st, some 35,700-75,500 Wisconsin households will face housing disruption or eviction filings. What will follow will not be the happy end of 2020 we all anticipated, but another year of economic devastation, COVID sickness and death, and despair.

 The three moratoriums we’ve seen in Wisconsin have mitigated economic disaster. In April, some 415,557 people were unemployed, a 400% increase from March, when COVID first hit. During the moratoriums, people have found work without worry of payments or evictions, with just 156,549 people unemployed in November. However, this progress will evaporate when the millions in rental debt is due and thousands of renters are evicted, hurting all of us—renter and landlord, urban and rural. Evictions will also increase COVID sickness and death. The lifting of state moratoriums across the country last year resulted in 433,700 new cases and 10,700 deaths. This is likely to be even worse given that the new B.1.1.7 variant is 50-70% more transmissible than the original virus.

 Shamefully, despite these ongoing and impending crises, our state legislators have done nothing. They haven’t passed a single piece of legislation in more than 8 months. That’s why  we need our mayors and city council members to step up—calling on state legislators to act and promoting local solutions. Specifically, we call upon our local leaders to:

- 1. Provide government financial assistance to help all Wisconsin renters pay off all outstanding rental debts (i.e. The Right to Shelter Fund).

- 2. Provide rental assistance to tenants and small landlords moving forward to help ensure renters do not subsequently accrue debts, and to help small landlords get by with little to no revenue streams. This funding can be modeled off of Governor Evers’ $25,000,000 Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program which used CARES Act funding to provide rent and security deposits to landlords on behalf of tenants who qualified.

Cancel accruing late payment fees. Not only do these fees add to the sum total of debt, but they also, in effect, penalize tenants monthly for failing to pay, even if they want to and are unable.

- 3. Provide dedicated case-by-case support to tenants who have been evicted in the last nine months. Although the moratoriums have prevented many people from being evicted, 800-3,000 households have nonetheless been evicted per month, depending on the relevant moratorium. For example, the CARES Act saw 2,300-2,400 households evicted in Wisconsin monthly due to its narrow federal mortgage qualifications, in contrast to the some 800 households evicted per month during Governor Evers’ moratorium.

- 4. Publicize and spread the details of the moratorium as much as possible, working with partner organizations, activists, and courts to ensure as many people as possible are aware of the status of their debts, future payments, and legal challenges. In particular, make it a priority to inform as many BIPOC and low-income households as possible are aware of the moratorium and its implications.

Call on the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to provide regulatory protections against landlords gouging rental prices for renters who are able (as well as those not able) to pay. 

 

We all want 2021 to be a new chapter, but if we continue to do nothing or take insufficient steps to delay our problems, 2021 may be even worse yet than last year. None of us want that.

The Rural and Urban Communities United in Solidarity Coalition (RUCUS), North Side Rising,Our Wisconsin Revolution, Rise Wisconsin

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 This Action Alert sent to WNPJ from Mike McCabe of Our Wisconsin Revolution mike@ourwisconsinrev.com: "We're part of the Rural and Urban Communities United in Solidarity (RUCUS) coalition that started a petition to officials across the state urging them to extend the moratorium on evictions and provide support to struggling renters. An awful lot of people are on the brink of losing their homes in the midst of this pandemic. This is a time for us to pull together with determination not to allow people to be thrown out in the streets. Please take a moment to sign our coalition's petition." https://www.change.org/p/people-extend-eviction-moratorium-and-support?link_id=8&can_id=39cdf03d665b050221f2305908b92f54&source=email-now-the-hard-part&email_referrer=email_1051083&email_subject=now-the-hard-part