Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed an executive order and extended the statewide moratorium on housing evictions until Sept. 1, 2020 after it was set to expire Saturday.
Ahead of the decision, DeSantis signaled the possibility of the extension during a roundtable discussion in Orlando about the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, saying officials will have “something on that soon.” The moratorium, which was implemented in April, allows people to avoid eviction from their homes amid the virus outbreak.
The governor has previously extended the ban twice, hours before it was set to expire, news outlets reported. During the governor’s extension last month, 743 eviction orders had been filed in Palm Beach County alone, according to Sharon Bock, the county’s clerk of courts. As of Wednesday, 1,001 eviction orders have been filed in the county.
Prior to the governor’s decision the further extend the moratorium, there had been concern about what could happen if that wasn’t the case.
If the order is not extended, “we may be trading a medical pandemic for a housing pandemic,” Bethanie Barber, the executive director for the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, told WESH-TV.
Florida’s death count spiked to a new height Wednesday with 216 reported deaths due to COVID-19, according to the state health department. The health department also reported 9,446 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total for the pandemic to more than 451,000.