ACLU Wisconsin calling for temporary ban on evictions amid pandemic

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 2:59 PM CDT
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin is calling for evictions to be temporarily banned in the state as many residents face financial turmoil caused by the pandemic.

The Wisconsin chapter is joining affiliates in 19 other states to push lawmakers to issue or expand "statewide moratoria against evictions and commit to preventing mass evictions after these moratoria end," according to a statement Thursday.

ACLU said people of color and women especially are in need of such protections.

"The disproportionate toll that the COVID-19 crisis has taken on communities of color has already been devastating enough, and the burden will only become more severe if action isn't taken to prevent evictions and utility shut-offs,” said Asma Kadri Keeler, staff attorney with the ACLU of Wisconsin.

“Homelessness and housing instability cause a myriad of lasting financial, emotional, and health problems which victimize women of color and their families most acutely. In the pandemic context, it also poses a serious health risk to the public writ large," Asma Kadri Keeler adds.

Wisconsin DATCP has already

from charging fees and fines during the pandemic, and three months afterwards.

The Wisconsin chapter of the ACLU is now asking Gov. Tony Evers to do the following:

- Halting every stage of the eviction process including initiation and enforcement;

-Prohibitions on late fees and credit reporting based on missed rental payments;

- Protections against tenant blacklisting;

- Continuing to prevent mass evictions during and after the pandemic;

- Application to all types of tenants and lease violations;

- Prohibitions against the collection of late fees and retaliation against tenants who assert their rights under the moratorium.