Tell the D.C. Council and the Mayor to Fund ERAP and Reinstate the Eviction Moratorium
D.C. Council, Mayor Muriel Bowser
Since September 13th, over 559 evictions have been scheduled. STAY DC, a crucial lifeline for many tenants and landlords, has run out of money. In the midst of a pandemic, we need to protect our vulnerable neighbors, both housed and unhoused. The D.C. Council says there is no "political will" for an eviction moratorium. Make your voices heard!
The D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser need to reinstate the eviction moratorium for tenants, fund ERAP, and stop the eviction of encampments. Click here to view the letter with a full list of signatures.
D.C. Council, Mayor Muriel Bowser
From: [Your Name]
Mayor Muriel Bowser
1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Dear D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser,
We, the undersigned organizations and residents of Washington, D.C., urge the D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser to take swift and immediate action to enact a new eviction moratorium and extend rental assistance.
STAY DC (Stronger Together by Assisting You), the main vehicle through which tenants and landlords could obtain rental relief throughout the pandemic, closed at 7:00 PM on October 27th, 2021 due to a depletion of funds. Many tenants and landlords were and are unaware of the program’s existence and have missed a crucial opportunity to apply for rental assistance.
As it currently stands, the Treasury has indicated the earliest D.C. could receive additional federal funds would be March, 2022. Since evictions resumed in September, 542 evictions have been scheduled. Without STAY DC as a crucial lifeline for tenants and landlords, many more people will needlessly face evictions while we wait for more federal funds to be issued. It is clear that tenants and landlords are still in need: according to Councilmember Lewis George’s press release, STAY DC disbursed more funds in two weeks than ERAP (Emergency Rental Assistance Program) receives in funding for the entire fiscal year.
We request that the D.C. Council and the Mayor take the following steps:
1. Reopen the STAY DC portal so there is an accurate record of tenants' and landlords' monetary requests for rental assistance.
2. Vote for the “Sense of the Council” resolution on December 6th, 2021.
3. Ensure the Mayor sets aside at least $100 million from the surplus of contingency reserves in order to put more money into the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), prioritizing cases with active writs.
4. Reinstate the eviction moratoriums to halt eviction filings and actual evictions in all cases alleging nonpayment of rent between March 11th, 2020 - March, 2022 until more federal funds are available for rental assistance.
5. Stop the eviction of homeless encampments, as recommended by The Way Home DC.
6. Consult with and follow the lead of advocates with lived experience, such as the People for Fairness Coalition, who have proposed an informed and comprehensive housing solution detailed in their Vacant 2 Virus Reduction plan.
7. Ensure that sufficient funding exists to prevent homelessness. Project Reconnect must be retooled to prevent homelessness for single adults in addition to serving as a diversion and rapid-exit from shelter programs.
Without enacting further protections, many more tenants will face eviction, and in turn, will increase our population of unhoused residents. With 17,614 vacant units reported in August, 2021, there should be no reason for any D.C. resident to live on the street. Absent swift action by you, our elected officials, tenants will lose their homes and more and more of our neighbors will become unhoused and even more vulnerable to COVID-19.