Today, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement in response to President Trump signing an Executive Order on evictions and foreclosures:
“President Trump’s Executive Order substitutes show for substance, leaving those facing the catastrophic upheaval of eviction this week with no immediate relief and without protection from imminent homelessness. The Executive Order simply directs federal agencies ‘consider’ what measures might be taken to assist renters facing evictions; to ‘identify funds’ to assist renters and homeowners; and to find ways to ‘promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid evictions and foreclosures.’ It provides no new funding to assist those in need and provides no details on the timing or substance of direct assistance to renters and homeowners.
“Without immediate action, more than 30 million renter households are at risk of eviction. LDF calls on Senator McConnell to bring senators to the negotiating table to pass a version of the HEROES Act that will protect American families. A deadlocked Congress will leave American families facing eviction and foreclosure without relief. We call on Governors and Mayors to act to immediately halt all evictions and foreclosures, and to suspend utility shut-offs.
“Every American should be able to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s protocols, which emphasize regular hand-washing at home. And every child should have access to electricity and internet service in their homes to access distance learning. American leaders at the federal, state, and local levels must confront and forestall the catastrophe facing millions of Americans this week.”
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, LDF sent letters to the National Governors Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and a handful of governors who had not implemented a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. The letters, many of which also called for moratoriums on utility shut offs, asserted LDF’s concern for vulnerable communities and the health and safety of Black people who reside in these states.
In addition, LDF also encouraged Congress to expand the moratoriums included in the CARES Act to ensure that all properties would be covered by the national moratorium and that the time period would be extended. And while the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the HEROES Act, the Senate has failed to take action to pass this critical legislation, unnecessarily putting families at risk of becoming homeless and being further exposed to the pandemic.
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.