Governor Walz gave an executive order at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that placed a moratorium on evictions, so individuals that found themselves in precarious financial situations due to the pandemic wouldn’t end up homeless. This was not only an economic and housing concern but a public safety concern, as individuals experiencing homelessness have a harder time following the recommendations to reduce the risk of COVID-19, such as social distancing.
While there are promising signs that we are nearing the end of the pandemic, and Minnesota ranks as one of the highest states for COVID-19 vaccinations, the economic troubles caused by the pandemic are not over, and the need for social distancing is still there. Despite this, Republicans heard a bill this week that would end the governor’s executive order for eviction moratoriums, pushing Minnesotans off a cliff rather than creating an exit ramp that allows Minnesotans to get back on their feet financially while keeping themselves and our communities safe.
Stakeholders recognize that measures around housing are going to have to be taken as the pandemic slows down, but this is not the proper approach. Senate Republicans have refused to hold hearings or offer solutions that would help us end gracefully the governor’s executive orders as this pandemic winds down, choosing instead to use partisan politics to hinder our ability to offer Minnesotans help when needed.
The bill was sent to the Senate floor, but it is unlikely the House will hear or pass the bill. In the Senate, however, DFLers will continue fighting to ensure all Minnesotans are safe and supported until this pandemic is truly over. (SF 1470)