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Group at governor's mansion calls on DeSantis to extend rent, mortgage moratorium

Advocates serve Gov. DeSantis eviction notice
Posted at 6:49 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 18:49:17-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Concerned Floridians served Governor Ron DeSantis an eviction notice on Tuesday in an outcry for help paying rent and mortgages.

The people who served the notice say they want DeSantis to extend the rent moratorium and work on long term relief for the people struggling because of the coronavirus.

As COVID-19 continues to put a strain on Florida's economy, many continue to worry about how they'll make ends meet.

"I've had to rely on my 70-year-old mother to pay all of my bills, and she's had to drain her savings account," said Judy Tanzosch, who has organized protests about Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity.

But others don't have anyone to turn to.

"I've been witness to members of my own family who are struggling with anxiety and fear over how they're going to catch up on rent and mortgage," E.N. Hill said.

DeSantis signed an executive order halting mortgage foreclosures and rental evictions in early April. That moratorium is set to expire July 1.

"If Governor DeSantis does not take action, we are evicting him from his mansion," said Lakey Love, who's with Tallahassee Community Action Committee.

Last week, the governor announced $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance but some Floridians say it's not enough.

"We ask that you suspend rent payments for the duration of the crisis with no payback options, no late fees, and no retaliation," said Hill. "Use the millions of dollars tax payers have entrusted you with to keep us safe and in our homes."

As those in need wait to see if DeSantis will answer those demands, others are lending a helping hand like the Tallahassee Urban League.

"Every five, 10 minutes they're calling the Tallahassee Urban League," Curtis Taylor, the vice president of the Urban League said. "Thank goodness we have friends with funds to assist with rent, utilities."

The City of Tallahassee eased some financial tension for people.

"We did some assistance with utilities giving a percentage off of the usage with the cost associated," said Dianne Williams-Cox, the Mayor Pro Tem.

The rental assistance program announced by the governor will be available to help pay a household's rent for eligible months from July through December 2020.

DeSantis hasn't announced any plans to extend the moratorium or when people will be able to take advantage of the CARES Act dollars.