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8/17/2020 Rep. Williams’ resolution requests executive order imposing a moratorium on evictions due to COVID-19
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Dist. 9, Providence) introduced a resolution (2020-H 8116) requesting that Governor Raimondo issue an executive order to prevent evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Representative Williams introduced the resolution on July 17.

The State Supreme Court issued an order allowing eviction hearings to proceed on June 1 after the courts were reopened to the public following the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Before COVID-19 even hit our shores, housing in Rhode Island, particularly for low-income folks, was abysmal. There is not enough of it and our prices to own and rent have forced too many of our residents out of the market. Now, with the public health and financial effects of COVID-19, hundreds of families are in danger of losing their homes, and some already have, through evictions. These hard-working people had their hours and wages cut at best, and at worst, they have been laid-off or had to close their own business due to COVID-19. This in turn prevents them from paying their mortgages or rent simply because they do not have the money through no fault of their own. We are truly facing a coming wave of evictions that will force hundreds of, if not more, Rhode Islanders onto the streets. We cannot and should not allow this to happen,” said Representative Williams.

“I am aware that several programs have been created to help mitigate these problems, but from what my constituents are telling me, these programs, while well-intentioned, are extremely lacking and onerous with numerous hurdles and obstacles preventing our residents from getting the help that they desperately need.  For instance, in order to qualify for one program, eviction proceedings must already have been started, yet, this is far too little and too late to help most of these people. The only true way to keep our residents from experiencing homelessness during this uncertain and scary time is to issue an executive order imposing a moratorium on evictions until a fair and practical solution is established for all of our residents, and not just the privileged few. Summer is almost done and the cold will be here before we know it. Now is the time to protect our residents, and our landlords who are also suffering financially, and once again I urge the governor to do the moral and right thing and to keep these people in their homes where they belong,” concluded Representative Williams.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903