The following is a programmatic leaflet issued by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Evictions, Foreclosures & Utility Shutoffs in Detroit distributed at a demonstration outside 36th District Court on August 17, 2020.
By Moratorium NOW! Coalition
STOP EVICTIONS, FORECLOSURES & SHUTOFFS
= Other forms of racist violence against Detroiters
Evictions, foreclosures and water and utility shut offs constitute a racist war on the people of Detroit that is no less an assault than the police violence that thousands have been confronting in the streets.
Even before the Coronavirus, when the Michigan unemployment rate was only 4%, one of six rentals faced eviction in Michigan. The City of Detroit has averaged 35,000 eviction cases a year since 2009.
Over 3000 Detroiters, who already have eviction judgments in place from before the Covid emergency started, face immediate eviction with the lifting of the Detroit moratorium August 15, and the end of the moratorium on federally financed properties July 25. Tens of thousands of families in homes where workers have lost their jobs will be added to the list. Many have not received their unemployment checks due to bureaucratic delays.
Mass evictions at this time of pandemic will create a serious public health crisis. Only a small portion of the City of Detroit’s federal CARES is earmarked to stop evictions.
The 36th District Court has implemented a plan to remove renters without even a day in court. They will be conducting mass evictions by zoom, with any renter who can’t participate subject to a default judgment of eviction.
WE DEMAND THAT 36TH DISTRICT COURT CEASE AND DESIST FROM THE ILLEGAL PRACTICE OF ZOOM EVICTIONS. EVERY RENTER HAS A RIGHT TO THEIR DAY IN COURT, AND A TRIAL BY JURY BEFORE THEY ARE REMOVED FROM THEIR HOME!
WE DEMAND THAT THE CITY OF DETROIT USE THE ENTIRE 31 MILLION IN FEDERAL CARES HOUSING FUNDS TO KEEP FAMILIES IN THEIR HOMES.
DEFUND THE POLICE – POLICE SHOULD NO LONGER AID LANDLORDS IN EVICTIONS!
Governor Whitmer’s new executive order creating an eviction diversion program for Covid-19 related debtors is basically a big bailout to landlords, many of whom are predatory investors. Pursuant to the emergency powers vested in the governor by Michigan law, and in order to genuinely protect the lives and general welfare of the people in this unprecedented continuing emergency,
Governor Whitmer can and must:
- Place a One Year Moratorium on all Evictions in Michigan or longer if the emergency continues;
- Place a One Year Moratorium on all Foreclosures in Michigan or longer if the emergency continues;
- Place a One Year Moratorium on all utility shut offs including water shutoffs in Michigan for one year or longer if the emergency continues – Restore those who have been shut off;
- Cancel all mortgage, rental and utility payments in Michigan for one year or longer if the emergency continues;
- Implement affordable rent, mortgage, water and utility payments based on a family’s ability to pay.
Finally, the Federal government must extend the moratorium on federally financed properties and must provide funds for the cancellation of rent and mortgage payments during the Covid-19 pandemic emergency.