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Said that “this is not the right time for landlords to evict anyone,” Governor Janet Mills plans to issue an executive order to help those facing eviction due to the economic impact of coronavirus.
Talking for the Maine Center for Disease Protection and Protection on Tuesday, Mills offered several specifics but said that his administration would “take a targeted approach” to prevent evictions during the coronavirus pandemic. Orders will be issued within a few days.
Promises Mills follows dozens Portland business owners seek official rental assistance from the city and others expressed concern about the chaos that could have been caused by widespread eviction. The business has signed a letter to the Portland City Council seeking a freeze on rent coronavirus put them in a difficult situation: Their business is closed, but they have to pay rent unless they get a reprieve from the landlord. Maine Small Business Coalition call Mills “To issue an executive order banning expulsion and foreclosure and forgive leases and mortgages during an unprecedented crisis” on March 26.
Mills indicated that he would take a hard line against eviction.
“Whether it’s the shop owner on Exchange Street, or the apartment dwellers in Munjoy Hill, or in Kennedy Park or anywhere in the State of Maine, this is not the right time for landlords to evict anyone,” Mills said. “We look at carefully targeted executive orders that will stop ownership letters, from being issued in housing cases and in commercial cases as well.”
Executive orders are intended to be strictly limited to cases of eviction caused by a pandemic, including business closures and layoffs. Personal safety issues, violations of the law “or other legitimate reasons” that force eviction “are different issues,” Mills said.
“We cannot forgive rents that are due. We cannot say that you do not owe rent,” Mills said.
Sources of short-term funding to help pay rent for housing will also come, Mills said.
Watch: Maine CDC, Governor Janet Mills press conference, April 7
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