Florida governor suspends all evictions and foreclosures in the state amid pandemic

Florida governor suspends all evictions and foreclosures in the state amid pandemic
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisWill winter bring a new round of COVID-19 outbreaks? Party of more than 1,000 people broken up by police near Florida State University Overnight Health Care: New wave of COVID-19 cases builds in US | Florida to lift all coronavirus restrictions on restaurants, bars | Trump stirs questions with 0 drug coupon plan MORE (R) is suspending all evictions and foreclosures in the state for the next 45 days to  ensure that residents will remain in their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The executive order, signed by the governor Thursday, also asks state government employees working in other departments to shift over to the Department of Economic Opportunity to answer phone calls from those seeking to file unemployment claims. 

“We’re in a situation where this system is not handling the needs of the people of Florida in an adequate way,” DeSantis said in a press conference. “We need to do more.”

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The state’s unemployment website has crashed in recent days due to an influx of visitors, according to the Miami Herald

DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order on Wednesday after coming under heavy pressure for days. The governor also said Thursday that he doesn't plan to enforce the order in places of worship.

"I don't think the government has the authority to close a church," DeSantis said. "We got with the churches and the synagogues very early. We ask that you do it in a way that's going to be conducive to the mission."

Several other states, such California, Oregon and Pennsylvania have issued eviction memorandums of their own in recent weeks, as April 1 was the first day monthly bills were due for many Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.