As Congress continued to remain at loggerheads when it comes to agreeing on the next COVID-19 relief bill, struggling homeowners in Florida received further reprieve as Gov. Ron DeSantis extended his executive order instituting a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until September 1. The announcement came two days before the previous moratorium was set to expire.
With many landlords set to move forward to evict non-paying tenants upon the ban’s expiration, the announcement now pushes the issue another month down the road. However, with the nation facing unprecedented economic turmoil, unemployment, and many homeowners turning to forbearance to help weather the financial impacts of the pandemic, there are still many challenges remaining. Critics insist that a month’s extension is helpful but does not address the longer-term problems.
In a tweet, State Rep. Ana Eskamani (D-Orlando) declared the extension a “necessary step to protect thousands of Floridians from homelessness, but we need a plan to ensure housing security for all during & after COVID19 pandemic. Living life month by month is not sustainable & we’ve outlined proposals to the (governor) already that he’s thus far ignored.”
Gov. DeSantis did not offer any comment to accompany the extension of his executive order.
In May, the House Financial Services Committee held a virtual roundtable to discuss COVID-19’s impact on the U.S. housing market.
Rep. William Lacy Clay, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance, said at the time, “The harmful effects of this pandemic on the physical and mental health, financial stability, and overall way of being can be even more devastating when you are unable to pay your rent or mortgage.”
While trillions of dollars in stimulus packages—including the proposed $3 trillion HEROES Act—have been passed by Congress, “much more needs to be done,” Clay continued.
Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, said, “One of the most important things that we can do to respond to this pandemic, is to keep people in their homes.”