With most of the state economy shut down for the last three months, many people have not been working and that means not able to make rent.
To help, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive orders to ban evictions. Those orders expire Thursday night at midnight.
“The moratorium on evictions is really important especially when we’re in the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” posture,” says Gov. Whitmer, “Because we wanted people to stay home.”
As Whitmer was stretching out the state’s “Safer at Home” order, she also extended several executive orders to help. Last week, she contemplated extending the moratorium on evictions.
“This has been an important order that we are continuing to review what potential next steps may look like,” says Whitmer, “We have not made a decision.”
Advocates say a failure to re-up the order is going to cause a crisis.
“All it really does is postpone, if not sort of ensure, an evection crisis,” says Casey Jong with NO RENT MI, “It doesn’t do anything to address the actual payments that the landlords are still entitled to collect.”
The order didn’t forgive rent, it deferred it. Tenants still have to pay for the months they lived in the home. A tab that gets greater with each passing month.
“People who haven’t paid rent and have missed all those months of rent are expected to make those payments,” says Jong, “They likely aren’t able to make those payments because they haven’t been working.”
The eviction process is long with possible court hearings and judge orders. Nobody is getting kicked out Friday morning.
“People have a lot of time, in that sense, to develop a case,” says Jong, “A lot of folks lose eviction cases because they just don’t show up to the hearing.”
Groups like NO RENT MI hope an extension is still on the way. Maybe also an expansion to include forgiveness and utility relief.
“It looks different for different people,” says Jong, “The three core demands have been no rent, no evictions and no shut off’s.”