Demand Gov. Lujan Grisham Cancel Rents, Mortgages and Suspend All Utility Shutoffs

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Secure Housing for All!

We the undersigned residents of New Mexico, along with the whole population of the United States, are experiencing the most unimaginable and devastating crisis of COVID-19. As you are aware, millions have lost their jobs, millions more stand to lose their incomes in weeks and months to come. One of the most critical issues is housing.

We appreciate that you have instituted emergency public health response measures early in the crisis, and that the New Mexico Supreme Court has issued a temporary moratorium on evictions, but it is not nearly enough. The temporary moratorium on evictions requires rent to be paid at some point in the future, when in reality the accumulation of rental debt will be insurmountable for many given the depth of the crisis. Tens of thousands in this state face ruin and homelessness for inability to pay the rent or mortgage. It is urgent that we place people’s needs before the interests of big landlords, developers and banks.

What sounds like an impossible demand—rent and mortgage cancellation—must become a reality because the COVID-19 crisis shows no sign of abating. Already economists predict the economy could reach depression levels that surpass the 1930s.

Whereas, housing and utilities are an absolute necessity for every human being, especially during the life-and-death struggle against COVID-19;

Whereas, the cost of housing in New Mexico already consumes a significant portion of a person’s income—rent in New Mexico’s two largest cities eats up about 30% of income and jumped 6% last year alone; 

Whereas, 40% of the population does not even have $400 saved for an emergency, according to a Federal Reserve 2019 study;  

We urgently call on you, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, to declare:

  • A statewide cancellation of all rents and mortgages for tenants, homeowners, and small businesses for the duration of the pandemic;
  • No filing, processing, or hearing of new or existing eviction cases for the duration of the pandemic;
  • A statewide order suspending shutoffs and disconnections of gas, electricity, water, internet and all utilities for the duration of the crisis; restoration of utilities for households recently disconnected for inability to pay. Waving of all fees effective immediately and no accumulation of debt; 
  • Eminent domain over vacant buildings, homes, hotels, all appropriate structures to house the homeless or people in precarious housing situations, including the undocumented, victims of domestic violence, or those in overcrowded living situations;
  • The repeal of the New Mexico state Rent Control Prohibition, which bans the controlling of rent increases by private landlords on the people of NM; a ban on all rent increases effective immediately for the duration of the pandemic.

This petition is initiated by the Gloria La Riva and Leonard Peltier 2020 Presidential  campaign and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. We urge all organizations in New Mexico to support the call. 

For more information about the La Riva / Peltier 2020 campaign, visit LaRivaPeltier2020.org.