People’s Action’s Homes Guarantee Campaign Helped Author New, Bicameral Bill That Would Enact Nationwide Eviction Moratorium
Contact: Johanna Kichton, [email protected], 202.660.0605
WASHINGTON, D.C.—People’s Action’s Homes Guarantee tenant leaders today celebrated the Keeping Renters Safe Act, a bicameral piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that would enact a real, nationwide eviction moratorium and provide federal protections for the 30-40 million people currently at risk of eviction. People’s Action’s Homes Guarantee campaign helped write the legislation and brought a historic delegation of tenant leaders to D.C. to speak at the bill introduction and meet in-person with the Biden administration and Congress.
“I have lived through eviction,” said Vivian Smith Miami Workers Center and the People’s Action Homes Guarantee Campaign tenant leader. “I have lived through homelessness. I have been forced to make choices between feeding my kids and paying the rent. No one should have to make this choice. During the pandemic, I’ve been forced to choose between my health and my home, returning to work before it was safe in order to avoid eviction. Tenants like me need Congress to act with urgency to pass an eviction moratorium, to end all evictions, now and at least until the public health emergency is over.”
The Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 would protect renters from eviction and curb the spread of COVID-19 by amending section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to grant permanent authority to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement a national residential eviction moratorium in response to COVID-19 that:
- Must be automatic, without requiring individuals to apply for coverage;
- Applies to all residential eviction filings, hearings, judgments, and execution of judgments;
- Allows the Secretary to establish appropriate moratorium exceptions necessary to protect the health and safety of others; and
- Remains in effect at least 60 days following the conclusion of the public health emergency.
People’s Action’s Homes Guarantee campaign is in the middle of the largest field operation in the history of the tenant movement, engaging over a million tenants in the process of writing their own rights into existence via a National Tenants’ Bill of Rights. Last April, People’s Action helped write and introduce Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020 to cancel rent and mortgages during the pandemic.
People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations in 30 states, united in fighting for justice. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. People’s Action and its member organizations coordinated one of the biggest distributed organizing programs in rural areas this past election season.