PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Laid off, waiting for unemployment checks and struggling to pay the mortgage or the rent: that’s the grim reality now for people in and around Pittsburgh.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller talked to two state leaders who want people to “know their rights” when it comes to foreclosures and evictions.
First, Attorney General Josh Shapiro wants the people of Pennsylvania to know that you cannot be evicted right now during this crisis.
“Right now folks are focused on their physical health and on making sure they can put food on their table — particularly the 1.1 million Pennsylvanians who have lost a job,” said Attorney General Shapiro.
He said it’s for this reason the state Supreme Court acted fast to block evictions.
“In fact, I went a step further and challenged the landlord associations across Pennsylvania to say ‘look, even once the governor removes the disaster declaration, you got to give people a little bit of time to get back up on their feet before commencing eviction proceedings.’”
Attorney General Shapiro said they agreed to hold off on evictions until at least July 15.
He said more than 1 million Pennsylvanians filed unemployment claims in the past few weeks and he wants people to know their rights.
You have guaranteed access to heat, water and electricity; there’s a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures; and there’s a grace period for student loans, and home and auto loans.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller also talked to Lt. Governor John Fetterman about his quest to educate people on social media about this issue.
“If a landlord makes a move to change the locks or physically remove you from your residence, call 911. They are breaking the law,” said Lt. Gov. Fetterman.
Pennsylvania Evictions Memo 📝
WHO: Yous / Yinz
WHAT: 🚨NO EVICTIONS 🚨
WHY: PA Supreme Court
WHERE: ALL of Pennsylvania
WHEN: Until this crisis is over. 💯 pic.twitter.com/kjKYKQhq6P
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) April 13, 2020
He said he feels so strongly about this, he’s tweeting it in all caps. He says evictions or foreclosures are the last things people should have to worry about during a time like this.
“One of the many concerns that you don’t have to worry about in Pa. is being evicted or having your utilities shut off because the Pa. Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that it’s against the law and no legal actions can be taken against anyone because of their inability to pay their rent.”
If you feel that you have been illegally evicted, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office here.