Activists are continuing calls to extend the moratorium on evictions in Florida

Housing activists holding a demonstration in front of the Governor's mansion in Tallahassee, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (Spectrum News)

UPDATE: 8:49 PM – Governor Ron DeSantis has signed an executive order extending the moratorium on evictions in Florida until August 1. It is the third time that his original order to establish the moratorium has been renewed.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Meeting in front of the House of Governors Tuesday, housing reform advocates called on Governor DeSantis to extend his moratorium on evictions and executions through September, preventing thousands of Floridians from being forced out of their homes when the current one-month extension ends Wednesday.

They said a 90-day extension could give government leaders time to put together a housing aid package that would safeguard tenants and homeowners from arrears that have accumulated amid a widespread economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Floridians are scared. They are confused. They are tired. We want a leader. Someone who will take bold, immediate and immediate action to ensure that people have basic needs,” said Lakey Love of the Florida Housing Justice Alliance.

When the clock ticked against the expiration of the moratorium at midnight, DeSantis on Tuesday gave no indication that he would extend it, rejecting a reporter’s question about the matter at an afternoon press conference in Juno Beach. After implementation of the moratorium in the early days of the pandemic, DeSantis has issued two extensions.

By dedicating the state budget to $ 1 billion this week, the governor vetoed $ 225 million in affordable home finance. He defended the action by noting that the state will spend $ 250 million on federal CARES act funds for rent and mortgage support.

“Virtually all economic hardship at this point will be related to this pandemic,” DeSantis told reporters on Monday. “I mean, it has affected our economy ubiquitous, so I think it will allow them to do what we would like to do in some cases.”

But that justification isn’t good enough for Love and her fellow advocates.

“The excuse he gives, the $ 250 [million] of the CARES act the cuts make up for a lie, and that’s not what people want, “she said.” The 250 of the CARES act was not enough. The state legislature’s money was not enough before he stopped it. ‘