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Members of Providence City Council call on state to halt evictions during pandemic

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“A state-wide moratorium on evictions in Rhode Island will help relieve anxiety to people if they lose income because they get sick, if a family member gets sick, or if their job is impacted by the economic damage COVID-19 is causing.”


In an open letter to Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, five members of the Providence City Council, Helen Anthony (Ward 2), Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3), Pedro Espinal (Ward 10), Kat Kerwin (Ward 12), Rachel Miller (Ward 13) and Special-Election Primary winner John Goncalves (Ward 1), are requesting a to halt evictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The City Councilors are also imploring state and city leaders to do their best to issue a moratorium on evictions.

Here’s the letter:

“First and foremost, members of the Providence City Council would like to thank the Honorable Governor Raimondo for her important leadership as we all try to overcome the coronavirus outbreak. We cannot thank Governor Raimondo enough for her swift and decisive leadership during these trying times and we are thankful for the proactive and aggressive measures she has taken against the transmission and spread of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has had and will continue to have a devastating impact on children, families, the elderly and businesses in our state. With the directive for restaurants and bars to end dine-in service as well as the surging unemployment claims in Rhode Island, just to name a few, it is clear that our economy and our workers are being severely impacted by this crisis.

“As countless of our low-wage workers are being impacted by restaurant and bar closures, the coronavirus will have severe implications on peoples’ ability to secure stable housing, which is crucial to containing the virus, maintaining social distancing and protecting public health.


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“To that end, an increasing number of towns, cities, and states have taken action to prohibit evictions during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, anticipating that many tenants could be unable to pay their rent or mortgage during this crisis.

“A state-wide moratorium on evictions in Rhode Island will help relieve anxiety to people if they lose income because they get sick, if a family member gets sick, or if their job is impacted by the economic damage COVID-19 is causing.

“On behalf of the constituents we serve, we are requesting that the state announce a similar measure and halt evictions amid the crisis. We also implore state and city leaders to do your best to issue a moratorium on evictions that would be in effect for residential tenants who are unable to pay rent as a result of this pandemic.

“Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. We look forward to working together with our state and city leaders to continue to address this crisis and to ensure the safety of the members of our community.”