Petition to Govenor Andrew Cuomo
Suspend Rent & Mortgage in New York during COVID-19
“While we all self-distance during this crisis, this is sadly just the beginning. Millions of New Yorkers have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and policies must be implemented to slow its spread. Low income families are hit the hardest as they struggle to find childcare during school closures, make due with lost wages and tips, take on additional food and medical costs and still make ends meet,” said candidate for City Council Marti Gould Cummings. “We must come together and ensure that people can safely stay in their homes and preserve their dignity for themselves and their families. Governor Cuomo has already made several hard decisions to help us and our neighbors during this time, but he must go further.” To date, New York has over 1,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than a dozen have died. PROPOSALS Prohibition of evictions, utility cutoff, and late fees for all New Yorkers whether they rent or own.Subsidizing New Yorkers who are unable to pay their rent or mortgage or lost their source of income due to the crisis.Requiring landlords, utilities, and lenders to work out payment plans for those who are unable to make their payment during the crisis. Plans should extend for 24 months after the end of the state of emergency.Providing the option for tenants to extend all leases set to expire for at least 3 months beyond the end of the state of emergency.Halting all late fees for small businesses leases for the duration of the crisis.Allowing small businesses to defer payment of property tax and sales tax for twelve months after they are permitted to re-open.Freezing rents for at least two years after the end of the state of emergency.
Petition to Roy Cooper
NC Gov. Cooper must suspend rents & mortgages during the continuing COVID19 Pandemic
Governor Cooper, Thank you for your hard work in this time of worldwide crisis. COVID19 Vaccines are finally being distributed, but you are well aware that that it will take a significant amount of TIME until ALL NC citizens have received it. Meanwhile, millions of N.Carolinian's are STILL being critically impacted where HOME SAFETY is concerned during the CURRENT epically WIDESPREAD RESURGENCE of this deadly COVID19 virus. Most people are still out of work, or have greatly reduced hours and are UNable to make their housing payments. People are STILL BEING EVICTED in VIOLATION OF the current CDC Moratorium - I HAVE WITNESSED IT! To lose one's home is in direct conflict with the continuing 'Stay HOME - Stay Safe'' way of current life. Without a nationwide OPEN ENDED Moratorium in effect which includes all stipulations listed below to protect NC citizens from losing their homes, ALL are in serious danger because the current CDC Moratorium EXPIRES DEC. 31, 2020, which is only a week away!! Due to the phase-reopening of the states and subsequent swift resurgence of the deadly COVID19 virus, a new NC Moratorium is CRUCIAL, and MUST have MUCH STEEPER, SEVERE, STRICT FINES & JAIL TIME for ANY VIOLATORS than the one currently in place because I have WITNESSED court officials & Landlords IGNORING the CDC's MORATORIUM, even when handed a hard copy of the Moratorium AND the SIGNED DECLARATIONS! They are filing AND ORDERING MULTIPLE 'NON-PAYMENT' EVICTIONS, EVEN AFTER BEING PRESENTED WITH the CDC's ORDERS! In a phone call, a Cheif Magistrate ADMITTED the wrongdoings and apologized, but DID NOTHING to OVERTURN the MULTIPLE EVICTIONS their underling ordered in Court proceedings from the start date of the CDC Moratorium until that date, which was several weeks!! THEY ARE VIOLATING THE LAW, RENDERING PEOPLE HOMELESS, NOT CARING & NOT BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE!!! THIS MUST STOP! Your Moratorium needs to be for a total pause on mortgage and rent payments, which includes stipulation that there be NO PENALTIES, INTEREST or LATE FEES after the crisis has abated and NO LOOPHOLES which allow landlords to embellish the truth in order to obtain evictions, along with punishment & penalties for ignoring it as described below in the detailed list. All NC housing must be wholly and SAFELY protected from COVID19-gouging by their landlords and/or their mortgage holders/banks and insurance companies, and corrupt court officials & lawbreaking Landlords both now and after the crisis. Expected POST-CDC Moratorium evictions, price-gouging and demands of accrued payment debt(s) or penalties by banks/lenders and landlords, plus current atrocious and unliveable raises in rent (see: nchousing.org ) and/or threats will cause massive widespread homelessness and suffering. It will also continue the current undue and overwhelming floods of people into Assistance Agencies, which are strangling our state's assistance capabilities. We ALL need your help. NOW is the time to ensure ALL NCs citizens can "Stay Safe". We are ALL suffering because of this COVID Pandemic. No matter how you look at it, every citizen - whether homeowner or tenant, disabled or able, poor or rich, young or old - has suffered from little or no help, and their lives have been dramatically, severely and detrimentally changed. With the Stay-Safe Stay-At-Home way of life in effect during this crisis - "HOME" (shelter) being the operative word - it is imperative you protect ALL of your constituents in this time of need. We beg you to immediately enact a NEW "Open-Ended NC COVID-19 Housing Moratorium" to suspend mortgage & rent payments during the continuing COVID19 Pandemic, with the following stipulations: ° no penalties levied, or demands for accrued debt (interest; mortgage payments, homeowners or renters insurance payments, or rent payments), with immediate effect, ° covering any and all COVID19 related Rent and Mortgage financial diffculties beginning December 2020 and continuing 'open-ended' into 2021 stipulating continuance until after the crisis has abated, to cover any and all debt accrued during the COVID19 Pandemic. ° Strict guidelines with immediate and DEFINITE (not "chance of..") punishment incuding steep fines and automatic 60 days jail time for landlords and court officials, disbarment and termination of employment of any Magistrate, Judge, Attorney, or their superiors who had knowledge thereof and did nothing, who participate in or prosecute an Eviction case that resulted in an eviction while the Moratorium is active. ° Fines to be DOUBLED and jail time of 1 year with no possibility of early release, if the eviction results in death of anyone who was living in the home at the time of the eviction. ° No loopholes for landlords or mortgage holders to be able to evict or foreclose on ANY citizen, with the ONLY exceptions being renters or homeowners who commit a violent crime, destruction of property, child endangerment of minors in the home, dealing illegal drugs out of the residence, or are wanted by the law. ° If any Lender or Landlord wants to foreclose or evict, they must provide solid, legal proof of the above (court case documents, police report or documentation, DSS documentation, et al) to the Clerk Of Court WHEN FILING THE EVICTION or FORECLOSURE, or they shall NOT be able to file against the Homeowner or Tenant. This will protect ALL NC citizens and ENSURE ADHERENCE BY COURT OFFICIALS, Lenders and Landlords. We are in this together: "United we stand..". Thanks you, and God bless you, All citizens of North Carolina ** UPDATE 7/1/2020 ** Please read the recent Updates, posted separately & below the Petition, for fantastic news & more information! Edited Petition to reflect May's small Moratorium victory. ** UPDATE 12/21/2020** Please read recent Updates. Edited to reflect violations of the soon to expire CDC Moratorium, critical widespread resurgence of COVID19 in NC, and lack of any protections into 2021.
Petition to Arlington County Board
Ensure Arlington County Residents Are Not Evicted due to COVID-19
(Texto en español a continuación) English: Over the last few days, VOICE has heard disturbing stories about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic from our Arlington community: Cancelled jobs and reduced work shifts for hourly, undocumented, and small-business workers Rising food and other staple prices in the face of immediate demand A growing sense of desperation about how to pay the rent and provide for families No member of our community should go hungry or be evicted from their homes due COVID-19. No member of our community should have to choose between basic survival and protecting community health. The County, in its own words, “committed to helping its residents to the extent possible" during the government shutdown; it can help its most vulnerable residents now. These are not "one-off" stories - over 40% of the county's renters are already considered "rent burdened", meaning they are at incredibly high risk of being evicted in the event of a work stoppage. Federal and state relief may come too late for these populations. We call on the County to act now to help by taking these critical actions: Place a moratorium on factors that put families at risk, such as all evictions, and utilities shutoffs, for the next 90 days Allocate additional FY 2020 emergency assistance for rent supplements, utilities bills, and other forms of assistance needed to help tide families over during this crisis; Relax limits on eligibility for assistance during this emergency period so that, for example, families don't fall through the cracks because of prior receipt of assistance; Immediately convene a meeting of County, business, and non-profit and faith community leaders, as well as major landlords, to figure out how the County and the private sector can work together to meet the needs of these most vulnerable residents;discuss how to reach residents (in multiple languages and across multiple communications platforms) to inform them about availability of assistance;discuss with landlords a rent grace period during this crisis and other ways to avoid evictions due to job loss as a result of the pandemic. While it presents a unique challenge for local governments, it also is an opportunity to show that Arlington County means what it says in our vision statement about being a diverse and inclusive community in which each person is important. Please sign below to add your name to the petition calling on the Arlington County Board to act urgently to prevent our community members from eviction and hunger due to coronavirus. --------------------------En español---------------------------------- En los últimos días, VOICE ha escuchado historias inquietantes de nuestra comunidad de Arlington como resultado de la pandemia de coronavirus: - los trabajos están siendo cancelados - se reducen los turnos de trabajo, - aumento de los alimentos y otros precios básicos que dificultan el mantenimiento de las familias - una creciente sensación de desesperación sobre cómo pagar el alquiler Muchos de estos miembros de la comunidad son indocumentados, trabajan para empresas muy pequeñas que no tienen la capacidad de mantenerlos o ser partícipes en la economía de los negocios pequeños sin beneficios. Todos son trabajadores críticos para nuestra economía aquí en Arlington. Estas no son historias "únicas": más del 40% de los inquilinos del condado ya se consideran "recargados por el alquiler", lo que significa que tienen un riesgo increíblemente alto de ser desalojados en caso de un paro laboral. Ningún miembro de nuestra comunidad debería pasar hambre o ser desalojado de sus hogares debido a covid-19. VOICE está pidiendo al Condado que actúe ahora para ayudar. No espere un incentivo que puede o no provenir del gobierno federal o ayuda estatal que, en cualquier caso, no necesariamente llegará a este segmento de la economía. Le pedimos al Condado que tome estas acciones críticas: Coloque una moratoria sobre los factores que ponen en riesgo a las familias, como todos los desalojos, cortes eléctricos, cortes de agua y cortes de internet durante los próximos 90 días. Asignar asistencia adicional de emergencia para el año fiscal 2020 para suplementos de alquiler, facturas de servicios públicos y otras formas de asistencia necesarias para ayudar a las familias durante esta crisis; Reduzca los límites de elegibilidad para recibir asistencia durante este período de emergencia para que, por ejemplo, las familias no se queden atrás debido a la recepción previa de asistencia; Convocar de inmediato una reunión de líderes comunitarios del condado, empresas y organizaciones sin fines de lucro y de fe, así como los principales propietarios, para averiguar cómo el Condado y el sector privado pueden trabajar juntos para satisfacer las necesidades de estos residentes más vulnerables; discutir cómo llegar a los residentes (en varios idiomas y en múltiples plataformas de comunicaciones) para informarles sobre la disponibilidad de asistencia; Conversar con los propietarios un período de espera de alquiler durante esta crisis y otras formas de evitar los desalojos debido a la pérdida de empleo como resultado de la pandemia. Durante el cierre más reciente del gobierno federal, el Condado dijo que estaba "comprometido a ayudar a sus residentes en la medida de lo posible". Esta crisis es al menos tan grave para muchos residentes y más para nuestros más vulnerables. Si bien presenta un desafío único para los gobiernos locales, también es una oportunidad para demostrar que el Condado de Arlington significa lo que dice en nuestra declaración de visión sobre ser una comunidad diversa e inclusiva en la que cada persona es importante. Firme a continuación para agregar su nombre a la petición que solicita a la Junta del Condado de Arlington que actúe con urgencia para evitar que los miembros de nuestra comunidad sean desalojados por coronavirus.
Petition to Gavin Newsom, California State House, California State Senate, California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Payers
Delay California Property Taxes!
If rents are delayed due to the Covid-19 Emergency, property taxes should be delayed too! Background: On March 4, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency and issued an executive order that allows cities and counties to delay indefinitely rental payments — if local governments vote to do so. Quarantined from rental income, at-risk property owners are not inoculated from paying their property tax payments on time and in full. Property taxes for the first half of 2020 are still due in full by April 10, 2020. Property ownership is not a vaccine against financial distress any more than a tenancy is. Many a kind-hearted county tax collector may rely on “reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control” when considering a property tax delay. However, such a subjective and tenuous extension (if granted) may only last until June, leaving many property owners dangerously exposed; all on account of a public health crisis they and their tenants had absolutely no control over. If local governments can delay rental payments shouldn't they also be required to simultaneously delay property taxes? Linking the rental payment delay to a similar delay in property tax payments ensures that these emergency actions are truly temporary and will not metastasize into a permanent policy long after we have beaten COVID-19. Request: We hereby request that California Governor Gavin Newsom amend his March 4th executive order such that all local governments who do vote to delay rental payments are also required to delay property taxes. Any temporary local government shortfall could be funded by short-term California State borrowings. During this emergency, we ask Governor Newsom to protect all Californians equally, without bias or prejudice.
Petition to Governor Scott and Vermont Senate and Legislature
Call on the State of Vermont to Postpone Evictions, Cancel Rent, & More During Coronavirus
The Burlington Tenants Union recognizes that COVID 19 is quickly becoming a crisis of international scale. We are deeply concerned that tenants are going to be disproportionately impacted by this pandemic. Many people will be asked to self-quarantine until the crisis is over. Quarantine requires safe housing and the economic resources to stay put. In this light, we demand the state of Vermont take the following actions to support tenants throughout the state: - House all homeless/houseless people. Quarantine requires housing. - Eviction freeze. Evicting people during this crisis will only fuel the crisis - Rent-free living until the crisis is over. Many tenants will not be seeing a paycheck as businesses close. We demand that workers not suffer during this crisis due to rent. - Free utilities during the crisis. - An immediate remediation to all properties with known code enforcement violations. - Cleaning supplies, toilet paper, face masks and hand sanitizer for all tenants who need it during the crisis.