Democrats from South Florida are pushing Governor Ron DeSantis to issue a moratorium on evictions throughout Florida. A virtual video press conference, led by Senator Oscar Braynon, Representative Anna Eskamani, Representative Shevrin Jones, Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana and Commissioner Joshua Simmons, underscored the point that several other states have taken action to protect renters by allowing them to provide written notification to their landlord of their inability to pay rent within a timely manner.
“We have done a disservice to the hardworking families of Florida of not evaluating everyones financial structures of what those necessary payments are every week every month,” said Eskamani. “Other states have taken action on this and put into place a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.”
The Democrats said that tenants should be responsible for paying the rent due after the moratorium is lifted, however, they say, a temporary moratorium would provide public health safety and financial relief to Floridians when it’s needed most – during the crisis. Evicting renters during the COVID-19 pandemic might contribute to spread because hinder their ability to quarantine effectively.
“The governor and the president of the United States are trying to put timeframes on the virus which is not only irresponsible but I personally believe that its malpractice” said Jones. “Governor DeSantis has one job, and that one job is protect Floridians, not based decisions off the poll numbers, or what large corporations are telling him but protect people is the main objective.”
“Our solutions that we come up with shouldn’t have a timetable on it because this crisis doesn’t have a timetable,” said Braynon. “All we’re asking is that we understand the logic, we have talked about the science behind decisions made but what about the logic behind the decisions that are made? If you are closing businesses, if schools are closed so people can’t go to work because they have no where for their children to go, then how can they earn rent?”
The lawmakers also took a shot at Florida’s unemployment assistant website, calling it a “mess,” and accused state and local officials of not understanding the financial realities faced by Florida families.