Protect Philadelphia from COVID-19 community spread! Stop Evictions Now!
COVID-19 cases are rising across the country at the highest rates since the beginning of the pandemic, including here in Philadelphia, with Black and Brown communities still at the greatest risk. We are in a deep public health crisis that can only be made worse by our eviction crisis. People who are forced out of their homes often move in with friends or family or have to stay in shelters, and living in such close quarters dramatically increases the spread of the coronavirus in our communities.

During the worst public health crisis of our lifetimes, everyone needs to be housed to keep all Philadelphians safe from COVID-19. The existing limit on evictions under the order from the Centers for Disease Control allows far too many people to slip through the cracks. Philadelphia’s courts are open and issuing eviction orders, and over 500 families are already eligible to be immediately shut out of their homes when lockouts resume on November 9.

Councilmembers Helen Gym, Jamie Gauthier, and Kendra Brooks are sponsoring three bills that would extend the Emergency Housing Protection Act (EHPA) passed earlier this year by protecting renters and small businesses from eviction, expanding the right to enter into rent repayment plans, and lengthening the period for renters to avoid paying late fees. City Council’s Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development, and the Homeless is holding a hearing on those bills on November 6.

We need strong leadership from City Council to protect Philadelphians from the coronavirus and give renters and small businesses time to get back on their feet. The signers of this petition demand that the Housing Committee:

-- Hold a vote on the EHPA on Nov. 6;
-- Pass all three bills sponsored by Councilmembers Gym, Gauthier, and Brooks; and
-- Ensure that the eviction moratorium covers ALL Philadelphia renters and small businesses through at least December 31.

City Council enacted the first unrestricted EHPA eviction moratorium to allow all Philadelphians to shelter in place safely. With COVID-19 cases again skyrocketing as we enter the winter months, we need a full eviction moratorium to protect renters and everyone they come in contact with - their friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, care providers, food servers, delivery drivers, and more. A limited moratorium, as we’ve already seen, leaves too many at risk. No one deserves to be evicted when the health and lives of so many are at stake.

Respectfully,

The undersigned

This petition was prepared by the Tenant Union Representative Network (www.ourturn.net) and Community Legal Services (www.clsphila.org).
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