Editorial: Making eviction prevention a priority

Editorial Agenda Shared Concerns Coronavirus

MADISON, Wis. — We want to drill down a little deeper on the issue of evictions as one of the more vexing social justice consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi have made eviction prevention a priority, but there are limits on what they can do. In particular they can’t declare a moratorium on eviction proceedings. The Legislature needs to do that. So while the $10 million prevention fund announced by Dane County earlier this week will help, eviction hearings will continue to move forward as thousands of newly unemployed residents find it impossible to pay their rent.

The Tenant Resource Center, Catholic Charities and other advocates need more resources, and we’re hoping landlords might find it in their hearts to consider forbearance on rent collections and eviction proceedings. Losing one’s housing in a public health crisis is unsafe and unjust.