As the clock winds down on Gov. Ron DeSantis‘s eviction moratorium, housing activists posted an eviction notice outside the Governor’s mansion Tuesday and demand an extension of the rent and mortgage moratorium.
“If Governor DeSantis does not take action, we are evicting him from his mansion,” said Tallahassee community activist Lakey Love.
Love was joined by faith community leader E.N. Hill, Fix it Florida Founder Judy Tanzosch and community activist Trish Brown.
Together, the group accused DeSantis of mishandling the state’s COVID-19 response.
“He’s been inaccessible, he hasn’t properly used CARES Act money and he hasn’t stood up for the people most impacted,” Love said.
They also placed an eviction notice near the Governor’s Mansion entrance.
“The tenant Ron DeSantis’s unwillingness to LEAD during this crisis will cause unprecedented HARM & DISPLACEMENT,” the sign read. “We demand the tenant vacate these positions immediately and support a 90-day moratorium extension & direct rental and mortgage relief or those impacted by the COVID-10 pandemic.
The group collectively called on DeSantis to take sweeping actions.
“DeSantis must take bold and necessary action,” Love said. “In addition to the moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, he must protect small business, negotiate with banks on behalf of mortgage holders, house the homeless in single space hotel rooms and inform the public of what their rights and protections are.”
Brown called on DeSantis for prioritizing the rich over the poor.
“The Governor and the President should take a note from other countries that have dealt with this pandemic and know what it means and know the mistakes they made by trying to bail business and corporation at the top. They should have invested in the people at the bottom.”
For Hill, an Air Force veteran, the matter has struck close to home.
“I’ve been praying with and for far too many families who have been financially impacted by both the coronavirus and mass unemployment in the State of Florida,” Hill said.”I’ve been witness to members of my own family who are struggling with anxiety and fear over how they’re going to catch up on rent and mortgage payment when they could barely make ends meet before the pandemic. An eviction moratorium was a fine start but it is not enough.”
The ban on evictions and foreclosures is scheduled to expire Wednesday at midnight.
Democrats and community activists have repeatedly asked for the extension to carry on throughout the pandemic, particularly given the state’s high unemployment and sluggish unemployment benefits system.
“Governor DeSantis has failed to recognize the dire financial situation of millions,” said Tanzosch. “He has repeatedly denied the seriousness of greater than 2 million unemployed Floridians and has refused to expedite unemployment benefits which are required by federal and state law.”
At a press conference Tuesday, DeSantis dodged the question on whether or not the moratorium will be extended.