For Immediate Release
Johanna Kichton, firstname.lastname@example.org, 240.206.1145
On Day Rent is Due, People’s Action Hosts Day of Action Solidarity Rallies and Calls for Rent Cancellation
Tenants and community members reclaim stories at courthouses, apartment complexes, and homes across the country and call on senate to stand up for renters.
WASHINGTON - People’s Action’s Homes Guarantee Campaign is today hosting a Day of Action in which tenants and community members across the country are holding rallies in person and online to share their stories and stand in solidarity with tenants who have been forced from their homes during the pandemic. The organization and action participants are calling on Majority Leader Schumer and the Senate to immediately provide relief—by cancelling rent, mortgages, and all accrued rental debt—either in the COVID relief package being negotiated, passing standalone legislation, or through any means possible.
Solidarity rallies are being held in Bowling Green, Ky.; Lexington, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Topeka, Kan., and Chicago, Ill.
“I am joining the Day of Action not only for my family, but for all the families struggling. It is a very desperate time for people, I myself included,” Lexington Housing Justice Collective Leader Sharona Ferguson said. “It is a stress on my family not knowing if I will be able to pay my bills, not knowing if I will be homeless. People are desperate out here. If the government can help us, please help. I don't have a lot of words–I just have a lot of pain."
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“Housing is a human right, and a matter of life and death in this pandemic,” People’s Action Homes Guarantee Organizer Grace White said. “The profits of landlords and banks should not be put above the lives and safety of people. Across the country, tenants, public housing residents, and unhoused people are rallying to call on Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Senate to cancel rent and protect tenants once and for all.”
For the past year, tenants have called on Congress to cancel all rent and mortgage payments through the duration of the pandemic, but Congress has failed to provide renters with the comprehensive protection they need:
- Eviction hearings are still happening across the country, despite the CDC Eviction Moratorium;
- Last week, the CDC eviction moratorium was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in Texas and will be appealed by the Department of Justice;
- Landlords across the country are waiting for eviction moratoriums to expire at the end of March, 30-40 million tenants are on the cusp of homelessness; and
- Tenants owe well over $70 billion in back rent.
People’s Action calls on Senate Majority Leader Schumer and the Senate to:
- Suspend rent payment for the duration of the crisis, meaning no rent obligation, no late fees, no debts, no retaliation;
- Suspend mortgage payment for the duration of the crisis, meaning no mortgage payments, no debts, and no retaliation;
- Forgive all rental debts accrued beginning on March 13, 2020;
- Enforce the suspensions, including civil action against, and steep penalties for, any violators;
- Provide relief for some property owners, conditioned on a set of critical tenant protections; and
- Create a buyout fund to prevent massive corporate purchases and real estate speculation, like what occurred after the 2008 crisis, and to begin a transition to social housing.
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