Sanchez, other lawmakers urge PA Supreme Court to protect families, businesses

HARRISBURG, May 14 – State Rep. Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, along with dozens of colleagues from the House and Senate, sent a letter this week to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court urging them to issue an order to stay evictions and foreclosures for 90 days after a county is moved from the “red” to the “yellow” phase by Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration.

There is currently an executive order from Wolf extending a stay on evictions and foreclosures through July 10.

“With the inescapable economic hardships that have accompanied this coronavirus pandemic, it’s critical that we do whatever we can to keep families in their homes and local businesses alive,” Sanchez said. “So many have been furloughed or have lost jobs entirely, and we’re all being instructed to stay home and stay safe. To do so, we need the assurance of a place to call home.”

Sanchez continued: “This is not an excuse to forgo paying rent or mortgage. But it would put in place a safety net that allows families the confidence that they won’t be evicted or business owners the knowledge that they won’t lose their life’s work. During this unprecedented time, we must protect our neighbors and preserve the best of our community so we can all get through this together.”

With the support of lawmakers from both chambers of the legislature, the letter highlights a shared concern that COVID-19 could continue to cause serious challenges for many Pennsylvanians whose counties were among the first to shut down and will remain in the red phase for a longer period of time.

In addition to residential properties, the order would cover commercial properties also to ensure that businesses do not close due to the inability to afford their spaces during the COVID-19 crisis.

The full text of the letter to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court can be found here.