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COUNCILMEMBER GYM’S STATEMENT ON THE DANGER OF RECOMMENCING EVICTIONS IN PENNSYLVANIA DURING A PANDEMIC

In Council News, Helen Gym, News by PHL Council

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PHILADELPHIA—Today, Councilmember Helen Gym (At Large) responded to the looming threat of evictions that could be executed as early as Monday when the state and City eviction moratoriums expire. The moratoriums expire before Philadelphia has finished setting up its new Eviction Diversion Program, sponsored by Councilmember Gym and passed unanimously by City Council at the end of June, which could help thousands of Philadelphians at risk of eviction.

“This is a disaster in the making. Until now, most renters have at least had some assurance of stability during a global pandemic where their health, and the health of their entire community, depends on their ability to stay home. Evicting families from their homes is not only cruel and unnecessary, it is irresponsible public policy that threatens to erase the tremendous progress that Pennsylvanians have made in reducing the daily spread of COVID-19.

“This is a moment in history that demands immediate action from Harrisburg. I am calling on our state legislature to extend the state’s eviction moratorium during this crisis, and to allocate more of Pennsylvania’s $1.3 billion in unspent CARES Act funding to expand rent relief and targeted anti-eviction work like Philadelphia’s newly enacted Eviction Diversion Program. Working together, we can save hundreds of families from homelessness, ensure that landlords ultimately get paid, and prevent the trauma and chaos of eviction that threatens the lives of our neighbors.”

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