Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended all foreclosures and evictions in Florida for 45 days in response to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Pensacola News Journal reports.
DeSantis announced he had signed an executive order to give people relief facing foreclosure or evictions during a press conference in Tallahassee on Thursday.
"I'm not sure you're going to rent out a lot of new places right now anyways, but nevertheless you just never know how people act," DeSantis said. "So, given the circumstances, I think that those suspensions are warranted."
According to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions, Florida holds some of the most at-risk counties in the country which are vulnerable to the economic impact of the coronavirus.
"Just thinking about the scale of this, in 2019, Florida had a total of 307,701 claims for re-employment assistance," DeSantis adds. "In the last two weeks, we received 348,511 claims.
DeSantis also addressed the employment issues in the state. According to Pensacola News Journal, Florida's unemployment system is cracking under the pressure to process claims with people having trouble filing applications online or reaching people by phone.
"From August of 2018 to February of 2020, the contact center took a total of 2.39 million calls. DEO has taken 2.1 million calls this week alone," DeSantis said. "We're in a situation where this system is not handling the needs of the people of Florida in an adequate way. So, we need to do more to be able to get relief for the people of Florida."
DeSantis stated that he understands the problem, and is working to expand.
"I wish I could say that this is just something that's only going last a couple of weeks, but I think that this is not something that you can just turn on and off an economy like this," DeSantis said. "So we need to expand the capacity, but just understand that this is going to be a problem that could be with us more than just a couple of weeks."