Read the full letter here
Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) wrote a letter urging Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves to re-institute a statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures on behalf of the thousands Black individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mississippi is the third most housing insecure state in the United States with nearly 60% of renter households at risk of eviction. The pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis disproportionately impact Black Mississippians who have experienced both higher rates of job loss and COVID-19 infections and deaths than white Mississippians. As the pandemic continues, a foreclosure and eviction crisis looms, which severely threatens the ability of Mississippians to maintain their homes and safely endure the pandemic.
Swift gubernatorial action is critical to protecting the most vulnerable communities from the trauma and devastation associated with losing your home and from the health risks exacted by COVID-19. Allowing evictions and foreclosures to proceed will impede the ability of individuals and families to adhere to CDC guidance and, thus, will also contribute to community spread and increased infection and death rates.. To help address this issue, LDF urges Governor Reeves to:
• Protect Mississippians from court-mandated evictions by adopting a statewide moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least March 30, 2021;
• Adopt consideration of financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 in developing payment arrangements to address arrearages resulting from the eviction and foreclosure moratorium;
• Issue guidance protecting renters from illegal “informal evictions,” clearly establishing accountability for landlords that intimidate tenants, throw out renters belongings, change locks, turn off power, or procure individuals or services that employ lethal force to remove people from homes; and
• Institute a state moratorium on utility (water and electricity) shut-offs during the pandemic and require the restoration of service for customers previously disconnected, and implore local governments to pass local ordinances to prohibit utility shut-offs.
Read the full letter here
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.