As concern and worry swelled Tuesday for the thousands of Floridians financially burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis waited until the eviction moratorium’s final hours to inform residents that he would extend the order until Aug. 1.
DeSantis, who first issued an executive order suspending home foreclosures and eviction on April 2 for 45 days, has extended the moratorium now for a third time.
In each instance, the decisions were announced with little time to spare.
The Governor’s radio silence prompted housing activists in Tallahassee to gather outside of his mansion Tuesday afternoon and place an eviction sign near the 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 notice was signed the “The People, A Community In Struggle.”
Without the order, Floridians, some of whom remain out of work, are left at the mercy of landlords and banks.
The order had suspended all statutes “providing for a mortgage foreclosure cause of action.” For evictions, the order only specifies tenants may not be removed for nonpayment, indicating evictions for other reasons will still be in bounds.
The renewal of the moratorium order comes after a Tuesday morning report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity showed that the amount of new unemployment claims have at least leveled off for a second week in a row.
Out of the total claims filed, state officials said 2.53 million are confirmed as unique claims, which means they weren’t duplicates.
When asked by a reporter if he would extended the moratorium, DeSantis deflected the question by ask if anyone else had a new question.
Here is the text of the executive order: