Minnesota COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium!

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Minnesota Legislature, Minnesota Housing Court and District Court Administrators, County Sheriffs, and MN Attorney General

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Displacement and loss of our homes cannot be the penalty while our families face a global pandemic.

Minnesota’s Governor Walz has declared a State of Emergency due to COVID-19 for the safety and well-being of all Minnesotans. In an already deepening housing and economic crisis for low-income Minnesotans we demand an *immediate moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures* in Minnesota. The State of Minnesota must stand with and defend our neighbors with the fewest resources and safety nets and stop the escalation of the devastating economic effects of the pandemic. No Minnesotan deserves to lose their home, or be put at risk for attending a displacement court proceeding, because of this virus.

A moratorium has precedent in MN during a National Emergency both by an executive order by the Governor and by the State Legislature action. These necessary actions were later found to be constitutional by the US Supreme Court.

Cities and states across the country are moving forward moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, and many have already begun to pass them. The gathering of community members in urban housing courts in large numbers is a public health hazard, especially because residents who are sick are unable to miss court hearings without facing eviction as a consequence. Community members will not have access to the normal safety nets to access legal representation to prevent evictions, and are already facing economic hardship due to layoffs, decreased hours, and family care due to the virus.

The State of Minnesota must enact a moratorium on all eviction and foreclosure proceedings via legislation or via executive order. Minnesotans need a moratorium on eviction immediately, before the cascading effects of loss of work and increased costs due to our responses to this global pandemic.

Until this happens, County Sheriffs across the state must not spend their resources on enforcing family displacement actions such as Writs of Recovery. Our communities cannot face being forced out of their homes at the same time as we face this public health emergency. Housing and District courts must decline to litigate in all housing matters and suspend proceedings until the COVID-19 state of emergency ends. District Courts should vacate all default judgments from March 13th, 2020 - the beginning of Minnesota’s State of Emergency - and suspend further cases.  Local Governments that operate public housing must halt all evictions during states of emergency.

We will not allow our neighbors to be evicted and foreclosed on as we put our community focus towards #HealthNotEvictions

This call is supported by the following organizations:

Community PowerCommunityWorksConsultingCTUL
Evangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaHOME LineLake Tax LLC.
Market Homes RealtyMutual Aid Twin Cities Housing CooperativeNeighbors for More Neighbors
New American Development CenterRestaurant Opportunity Center of MNSierra Club North Star Chapter
Students CooperativeVoices for Racial Justice

To add your organization’s name to this petition fill out this form: http://bit.ly/mn-orgs


SHORT-TERM VICTORY as of 3/13/20, 7PM: MN Chief Justice Lorie Gildea issued a blanket statewide order, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, for all Minnesota courts that evictions, foreclosures & other similar low-level cases would be suspended for 14 days. This action is helpful, but evictions are still being filed!

Minnesota's communities will need long-term solutions for our families that go beyond temporary short-term pauses on court proceedings. Our voice is being heard, please continue signing and sharing this petition as widely as possible!


Why shut down Housing and District Courts and Eviction and Foreclosure proceedings during and after this public health crisis?

  1. Evictions courts in the Twin Cities are crowded with residents waiting for hours for their appointments. For instance, in Hennepin County Housing Court, there are hundreds of people squeezed into a small space and hallway without adequate ventilation for hours. This puts residents at risk, and prevents them from practicing any "social distancing" to prevent the spread of the virus. In counties where there isn’t a specific housing court, but cases are tried in district courts, people are still exposed person-to-person in a way that goes against recommendations.

  2. Even a person who is ill will feel that they have to go to Housing Court or District Court. If they do not they will be "defaulted" in court and forcibly removed from their home. In other words, you can’t “self-quarantine” when you’re sick. Many parents are forced to arrive with the children in tow, regardless of whether they or their children are ill.

  3. Organizations that Minnesota residents turn to for help with displacement will become increasingly harder to reach as the virus spreads. Legal and criminal systems will be compromised during the crisis. Access to programs that assist in paying back rent and informational meetings on residents' rights may have to be postponed or curtailed to follow guidance.

  4. The stress of eviction court, the stress of threatened displacement will contribute directly to both contracting an illness such as the coronavirus and to its severity if contracted.

  5. Eviction and displacement disrupts a family’s ability to secure healthcare and necessary medicines, uprooting daily life, and thus adversely affecting individual families and also facilitating the spread of the virus.

Additionally we support the calls for:

  1. An Immediate Moratorium on Rent Increases
    Rent increases, even minimal ones, during this time of crisis is a form of price gouging. Given the potential for lost wages it would make tenants more vulnerable to evictions.  The state must enact an immediate Rent Freeze.
  2. Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance
    Support must be provided in the form of emergency rental and mortgage assistance to cover any income lost to any worker during this crisis, regardless of classification as an employee or contractor.
  3. Moratorium on Utility Shut-Offs and Halt to Fees
    Widespread loss of income will also cause increased numbers of people to fall behind on bills and risk having their water, gas, electricity, and other basic utility services shut-off. All public and private utilities doing business in the state should be mandated to halt all utility shut-offs and related fees during this crisis.
  4. The Right to Paid Sick & Medical Leave, Family Leave, and Healthcare Access
    Immediate mandated Paid Sick Days for MN businesses and measures to cover lost wages. Expansion of Paid Family Leave.  The expansion of MN Medical Assistance/Medicaid to cover all who needs access to healthcare.

Permanent solutions:

After the immediate threat of displacement of families is ended we will need more lasting systemic changes so that the repercussions of this global pandemic don't land most heavily on families who have lost everything. We remain committed to fighting for permanent local and state-wide rent control, community ownership of resources, and critical financial and market interventions and reversals so that our families can stay in their homes!

To: Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Minnesota Legislature, Minnesota Housing Court and District Court Administrators, County Sheriffs, and MN Attorney General
From: [Your Name]

In an already deepening housing and economic crisis we demand an *immediate moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures* in Minnesota. The State of Minnesota must stand with and defend our neighbors with the fewest resources and safety nets and stop the escalation of the devastating economic effects of the pandemic. No Minnesotan deserves to lose their home, or be put at risk for attending an unnecessary court proceeding, because of this virus.