Tacoma and Pierce County: We need an Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium!

Mayor Woodards, Tacoma City Councilmembers, Pierce County Councilmembers, and State Representatives

Covid19_ban_evictions_tacoma

We are coming together to support one another during the worldwide pandemic of the Coronavirus. We are calling on our elected representatives to take swift, unprecedented action. Many of us and our neighbors are facing uncertainty with our next paychecks: for so many families, our livelihoods are at risk.  

We are starting this petition to pressure the government to use their emergency powers to ease the economic impacts and housing stability issues residents of Tacoma and Pierce County are now experiencing during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Keeping people housed and safe should be of utmost importance during this public health crisis. We cite four demands that require immediate action that falls within your power to provide, which are vital for housing stability in all residents of Tacoma:

  1. Establish an immediate citywide moratorium on all evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut offs

  2. Freeze all rents statewide until the CDC declares that the pandemic is over.

  3. Enact an emergency fund for renters experiencing financial burdens

  4. Create more immediate emergency housing for our unhoused neighbors, and stop all encampment sweeps

We need people to stay safely in place. The economic impact of this global pandemic is going to have long-lasting effects and we need you to prepare and to protect our community.

Many communities across the United States are calling for action from their local and state governments. Below are links to their calls to action and news coverage:


In solidarity,

Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee

and the Tenants Union of Washington State

To: Mayor Woodards, Tacoma City Councilmembers, Pierce County Councilmembers, and State Representatives
From: [Your Name]

We are writing to you to ask that you use your emergency powers to ease the economic impacts and housing stability issues residents of Tacoma and Pierce County are now experiencing during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Keeping people housed and safe should be of utmost importance during this public health crisis. We cite four demands that require immediate action that falls within your power to provide, which are vital for housing stability in all residents of Tacoma and Pierce County:

1. Establish an immediate citywide moratorium on all evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut offs, as the health and the stability of the residents of Tacoma and across the county is a necessity during this public health crisis. This would include evictions and foreclosures already in process, but these would simply be paused until the CDC declares that the pandemic is over. Any non-rent related evictions from now until this crisis is over, should also be paused. People across this state are still receiving 20-day notices, even during this crisis. We need action.

2. Freeze all rents statewide until the CDC declares that the pandemic is over. We cannot allow improving profit margins to be part of this public health crisis. We are not even close to being at critical mass and as school closures take place, another financial burden is falling on a collapsing workforce. You must prioritize public health over landlord greed.

3. Enact an emergency fund for renters experiencing financial burdens due to work shortages or complete job loss or needing to be away from work in such cases as caring for sick and/or at-risk relatives or due to school closures. The economic fallout of this public health crisis is likely to linger as companies struggle to return to pre-crisis business.

4. Create more immediate emergency housing for our unhoused neighbors, and stop all encampment sweeps of these communities, as they are the most at-risk group in our region. Inaction for our homeless neighbors could create disease clusters in our community and you must take whatever actions needed to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Secondly, we need emergency daytime drop-ins for our unhoused neighbors. The CDC is recommending social distancing as a mechanism to curb the spread of the Covid-19; therefore, it is imperative that we protect the public-at-large by avoiding the creation of incubation sites for the virus to spread widely and rapidly. Lastly, due to the severity of this public health crisis we would also like you to consider using a“fever clinic”. A fever clinic would include some escalating basic health exams to prescreen for Covid-19 and thus not overcrowd already overburdened hospitals. Basic exams should include: temperature, white blood cell count, assess symptoms, assess exposure risks, and rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) to exclude those illnesses. For those in severe health but who have not contracted Covid-19, they should be referred by a health professional to a “quarantine hotel” to recover. Protecting our community demands robust responses.

In light of the proclamation of emergency for the City of Tacoma and President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, we look to you to utilize these funding sources and to take immediate action to keep all residents of Tacoma safe. Mayor Woodards stated that “the health and safety of our community continues” and housing stability is critical in stemming the spread of Covid-19. We need people to stay in place. The economic impact of this global pandemic is going to have long-lasting effects and we need you to prepare and to protect our community. We are asking you to use sound policy to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 and to help flatten the curve of this disease in our community. Be leaders and take these steps to protect us all.

Sincerely,
Tacaoma Tenants Organizing Committee
Tenants Union of Washington State