Letter to the Editor: ‘Humboldt DSA Demands Extension and Improvements in County Eviction Moratorium’
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During March and April over 12,000 claims for unemployment benefits were filed by Humboldt County workers. We have no idea how many new claims have been filed in May. Even though the County is beginning to open up, who believes that we’ll be able to put 12,000 laid-off workers back on the job?
The crisis of loss of income is nowhere near over. Therefore, Humboldt Democratic Socialists of America (Humboldt DSA) demands that the County make the following changes to the current Eviction Moratorium Ordinance.
· The term of the current County Order must be extended past May 31, 2020 at least through and including July 31, 2020.
· The County must suspend the discontinuation or shutoff of water services for residents or businesses for non-payment of water and/or sewer bills. The imposition of fees or penalties for delinquent water and/or sewer bills must be prohibited.
· Tenant must not be deemed in default of rent payment unless Tenant fails to tender full amount of Delayed Payment within 180-days of May 31, 2020, or 180-days of the date upon which an extension of this Order expires whichever is later.
· During the term of this Ordinance no Landlord shall endeavor to raise rent.
In a recent report in the Eureka Times-Standard (May 13, 2020, “Rate of people unable to pay rent flattening in Humboldt County”) property management companies described that they are seeing, “virtually no increase [of failed rent payments] from April to May.” Claims by Landlords and Property Management firms that the problem represents an existential threat to economically destroy them, seem just slightly hyperbolic.
Tenants, however, if hit with big delayed payments in addition to paying current rent obligations will likely face eviction and homelessness.
Humboldt DSA urges the County Board of Supervisors to take immediate action to avoid Landlord attempts to evict from their homes Tenants who have been gravely economically affected by the current pandemic.
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States. We believe that working people should run both the economy and society democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few.
Spokesperson for Humboldt Democratic Socialists of America