By: Dave Williams
ATLANTA – Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff called on Congress Thursday to extend a moratorium on evictions that took effect with the coronavirus relief package lawmakers approved in March.
The Coronavirus, Aid and Relief Economic Security (CARES) Act included a 120-day moratorium prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants. The moratorium is due to expire on Saturday unless lawmakers extend it.
“Congress must not allow families to be made homeless by this pandemic,” said Ossoff, an investigative journalist who won last month’s Democratic primary for the right to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue in November.
“Today I am calling on Congress to take action to prevent evictions nationwide, help families keep the lights on and provide more direct financial assistance to those in need. Policy makers have a basic obligation to help everyone get through this crisis.”
Ossoff also supports passage of a new round of stimulus checks to Americans to help offset the economic impact of the pandemic on individuals and families. The CARES Act provided checks of $1,200 for every adult whose income was less than $99,000 a year, or $198,000 annually for joint tax filers.
Additionally, the Democrat called for Congress to block utility companies from shutting off access to power, water, or gas if a family cannot afford to pay their bills.
In mid-March, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) instructed Georgia Power Co. as well as the state’s gas utilities not to cut off services to customers for non-payment. However, the PSC lifted those moratoriums this month.
In response, Georgia Power began offering a special payment plan letting customers behind on their bills pay them back over time with no late fees.