Protect New Orleans Workers and Families: Keep Eviction Court closed during this crisis

New Orleans and Louisiana judges

Keep_new_orleanians_in_their_homes!

New Orleans was in the grips of a housing and evictions crisis before COVID-19 struck our community, with 61% of all renters being cost-burdened with rent and an eviction rate double the national average. COVID-19 has ravaged our workforce, pushing many in our communities deeper into poverty and placing them at risk of losing their housing. As our community begins to recover, we worry that many working-class workers and families will be left behind in New Orleans, scrambling to pay mounting bills with resources that were already stretched thin. In order to prevent a wave of evictions, we propose keeping Orleans Parish eviction court closed until August 24th, in line with the federal standards in the CARES Act. The CARES Act prevents landlords with federally backed mortgages from giving eviction notices to their tenants until July 25th, and stipulates that landlords must give a 30-day notice to vacate. This means the earliest day that a landlord can file an eviction in court is August 24th.

Our reasons for this demand are:

(1.) It is estimated that the CARES Act covers renters in 50% - 70% of all rental housing in New Orleans. Renters often do not know if they are protected because they don’t have access to their landlord’s mortgage records. Keeping court closed until the 24th protects all tenants equally, and prevents illegal evictions from moving forward.

(2.) Ensuring that all tenants are equally protected will also reduce stress on our courts, and reduce the paperwork that judges will need to review during cases. Opening eviction courts when the majority of tenants cannot be evicted will cause backlogs and confusion.

(3.) Keeping courts closed in alignment with federal standards means working families in New Orleans will have time to get back to work as our economy slowly re-opens in the coming months.

We need to protect our community! This crisis is showing that, more than ever, housing is healthcare! If evictions ravage our city just like COVID-19 then we are putting people in front of a fire. If families are made homeless due to our City’s inaction to protect them, then we are putting their health and safety at risk. Please protect our people. If you agree, please sign our petition.

In community and justice,

The New Orleans Housing Justice Coalition and New Orleans Renters Rights Assembly

To: New Orleans and Louisiana judges
From: [Your Name]

Dear Honorable Judges, Clerks, and Constables,

As our community begins to recover, we worry that many working-class workers and families will be left behind in New Orleans, scrambling to pay mounting bills with resources that were already stretched thin. In order to prevent a wave of evictions, we propose keeping Orleans Parish eviction court closed until August 24th, in line with the federal standards in the CARES Act. The CARES Act prevents landlords with federally backed mortgages from giving eviction notices to their tenants until July 25th, and stipulates that landlords must give a 30-day notice to vacate. This means the earliest day that a landlord can file an eviction in court is August 24th.

Our reasons for this demand are:

(1.) It is estimated that the CARES Act covers renters in 50% - 70% of all rental housing in New Orleans. Renters often do not know if they are protected because they don’t have access to their landlord’s mortgage records. Keeping court closed until the 24th protects all tenants equally, and prevents illegal evictions from moving forward.

(2.) Ensuring that all tenants are equally protected will also reduce stress on our courts, and reduce the paperwork that judges will need to review during cases. Opening eviction courts when the majority of tenants cannot be evicted will cause backlogs and confusion.

(3.) Keeping courts closed in alignment with federal standards means working families in New Orleans will have time to get back to work as our economy slowly re-opens in the coming months.

We need to protect our community! This crisis is showing that, more than ever, housing is healthcare! If evictions ravage our city just like COVID-19 then we are putting people in front of a fire. If families are made homeless due to our City’s inaction to protect them, then we are putting their health and safety at risk. Please protect our people.

Sincerely,
The New Orleans Housing Justice Coalition and New Orleans Renters Rights Assembly