Idaho: Stop evictions and foreclosures, cancel the rents and end racist police terror!

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Over 44 million people in the United States have now filed for unemployment benefits, 30% of homebuyers missed their June housing payments and at least 20 million tenants could not pay their rent. People are being evicted from their homes while at the same time the COVID-19 pandemic is surging and we are being told to “stay home!”

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Since the brutal May 25 police murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police department millions of people have participated in thousands of demonstrations in every state to demand an end to racist police terror and the immediate defunding of police departments. This national revolt against racism is taking place within the context of the unfolding economic depression.

As many as 1 in 4 Idaho renters are now facing eviction as the pandemic presses on, and this number is expected to grow in coming weeks. The CARES Act protection that allowed people to receive enhanced unemployment benefits ended on July 31, and the moratorium in place for evictions involving properties covered by federally backed mortgages will end on August 23. With the pandemic having canceled apartment showings and closing leasing offices, renters in Idaho are staring down the barrel of evictions knowing the chance of finding another place to live is slim to none. 

Even before the pandemic struck, Idahoans were in the middle of a housing crisis. Rent and housing costs are at all-time highs as rapid growth in Boise and surrounding cities mixed with predatory real estate investors buying up property to rent out, increasing cost and reducing supply, all while Idaho workers earn some of the lowest wages in the nation. 

As such, Idaho residents are facing the devastating crisis resulting from not just Covid-19, but also the failure to properly prepare for and address it. Therefore, we call on Governor Brad Little to:

Declare a state-wide cancellation of all rents and mortgages for homeowners, small landlords, and small businesses, for the duration of the pandemic - no debt accumulation!

No shutoffs of any utilities, including gas, electricity, and water. The restoration of utilities to households that are currently shut off for lack of ability to pay, no accumulation of debt.

Eminent domain over vacant buildings, homes, hotels, to house the homeless or people in precarious housing, such as victims of domestic violence.

Give full access to housing, income-assistance to all undocumented and informal workers. Housing must be a human right, regardless of employment or citizenship status.

End racist police terror!

Every working-class person has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of people have lost their jobs or seen their paychecks cut. As many as a quarter of Idaho renters now face eviction as the pandemic continues, and with no signs of relief or an end to the pandemic in sight, that number is unlikely to decrease. What sounds like an impossible demand — rent and mortgage cancellation — must become a reality because the COVID-19 crisis shows no sign of abating.

Stop Evictions and Foreclosures! Cancel the Rents! End Racist Police Terror!

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