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COUNCILMEMBER GYM COMMENDS COURT ACTION TO BAN CERTAIN LOCKOUTS, CALLS FOR FULL BAN ON ALL LOCKOUTS

In Council News, Helen Gym by PHL Council

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Despite the newly extended CDC moratorium on evictions, families who qualify for the order or have pending rent assistance application continued to be locked out of their homes
PHILADELPHIA—After City Councilmember Helen Gym (At-Large) held a press conference calling on the municipal courts to ban all lockouts (see attached press release) and sent a letter co-signed by nine members of City Council (see the letter), the courts issued an order banning lockouts of tenants who have completed an application for rent assistance. The court also agreed to provide updated pre-lockout notice when renters’ last notification occurred before May 1, 2021. Councilmember Gym issued the following statement commending the municipal court for today’s order and calling on the courts to go further by banning lockouts throughout the duration of CDC’s newly extended eviction moratorium:
“I thank the court for responding to our call and issuing an order banning lockouts of those tenants who have completed an application for rent assistance and are waiting to be approved. But we must go further. I have heard from families who were locked out but were unable to apply for rent assistance or who had paid all their rent but were evicted anyway. At a time when the Delta variant is on the rise, and studies have found that evictions lead to the increased spread of COVID and deaths, I am calling on the courts to halt lockouts throughout the duration of the CDC’s newly extended eviction moratorium. Lockouts are traumatic, dangerous, and counterproductive. We have built nationally renowned alternatives to eviction that can keep renters housed, and help landlords get paid. We now need time to limit the spread of COVID by keeping families housed.”
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