Florida bill would halt evictions during a state of emergency

Miami-Dade County already said it would put a moratorium on evictions during a state of emergency

Sep.September 04, 2019 10:30 AM
Hurricane Dorian (Credit: NOAA and iStock)

Hurricane Dorian (Credit: NOAA and iStock)

Florida Rep. Michael Grieco wants to pass a bill that would halt eviction proceedings during a state of emergency, like a hurricane.

The Miami Beach politician, a Democrat in District 113, submitted a request to draft such a bill following the eviction of a 75-year-old woman in South Beach late Friday night, just days before Hurricane Dorian was predicted to make landfall in South Florida.

Miami-Dade County already said it will create a new policy that prevents the county from evicting anyone once a state of emergency is declared.

Rep. Anna Eskamani of Orlando plans to co-sponsor the Florida bill in the state’s House of Representatives, according to the Miami New Times. State Sen. Jason Pizzo will also submit a bill to the Florida Senate.

“No one should be forced out of their home with a hurricane looming,” Jean-Luc Adrien, a disaster recovery legal fellow at the Community Justice Project, told the Miami New Times. “Eviction moratoriums should be automatic whenever a state of emergency is declared. We are encouraged that our elected leaders are working towards a solution in state law, and hope our local actors — mayors, sheriff, and the courts — also act swiftly to ensure eviction is the last thing on people’s minds as they prepare for and recover from a storm.”

South Florida largely avoided the hurricane, but the storm, moving at a snail’s pace, devastated the northern Bahamas and killed at least five people. [Miami New Times]Katherine Kallergis

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