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DeSantis to ‘consider’ stopping evictions in the wake of coronavirus

The news comes after Miami-Dade, Orange and Hillsborough counties have made their own announcements suspending evictions locally.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. [ STEVE CANNON | AP ]
Published Mar. 19, 2020

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TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday he would consider a statewide moratorium on evictions given the effect the novel coronavirus has had on the economy.

“I need to see what what my authority would be and how it would work,” DeSantis told reporters. “If something happens with their business and they get laid off, and then they can’t make the rent payment ... those are extraordinary circumstances. So I would be supportive of figuring out what I can do.”

The news comes after Miami-Dade, Orange and Hillsborough counties have made their own announcements suspending evictions locally.

Miami-Dade police announced last week that officers would not assist with evictions during the emergency declared by Mayor Carlos Gimenez for the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to halt evictions over COVID-19 comes on the heels of outrage last year when county police helped evict a 75-year-old woman from her South Beach apartment ahead of Hurricane Dorian.

Gimenez said after the incident that the eviction was a mistake and the county would no longer be evicting people during emergencies.

In Orange County, where many service workers and tourism industry employees have been left without pay, the county Sheriff’s Office announced it would also cease evictions, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

On Wednesday, the Hillsborough Sheriff announced that he is suspending eviction notices through April 20, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Miami Herald staff writer Doug Hanks contributed to this report.

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