FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DETROIT, Mich. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) commends Governor Gretchen Whitmer for signing a new executive order Thursday which extends protections for tenants and mobile homeowners from eviction through June 11th, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s initial executive order was set to expire today, May 15th, but the new executive order ensures tenants and mobile homeowners can remain in their homes without the threat of eviction, at least during the COVID-19 pandemic, even if they are unable to pay their rent.
The order also gives state courts the ability to postpone eviction proceedings and give tenants more time to recover after the executive order expires. It also prevents landlords from threatening eviction or pursuing evictions if they already received judgments of possession.
This new order follows a letter the ACLU sent on April 30th to Governor Whitmer and Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, urging them to take needed next steps to prevent mass evictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The ACLU specifically asked Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Supreme Court to expand the statewide moratoriums issued at the start of this crisis to stop evictions and commit to preventing mass evictions and foreclosures after the moratoriums expire, as well as prevent utility shut offs. We also asked that landlords not be permitted to threaten to take possession of properties, which is included in the Governor’s new order.
ACLU of Michigan deputy legal director Bonsitu Kitaba had this reaction to the new executive order:
“We are thrilled the Governor has extended the eviction moratorium as it will keep thousands of people in their homes and provide some relief from the endless stress families are facing during this pandemic. We must continue to work to protect vulnerable communities.”
We ask the Governor to continue to carry out the relief requested in our April 30th letter, which includes evaluating the impact this crisis has had on vulnerable communities to prevent mass evictions when the state of emergency ends.