MADISON – Today, Democratic legislators introduced the Due Diligence Act, a bill that requires landlords or tenants to apply for emergency rental assistance and participate in mediation prior to eviction during certain declared public health emergencies and prohibits certain rent increases.
Covid-19 has left many Wisconsinites without adequate financial resources and, consequently, facing eviction. It is a healthcare emergency and a public health crisis to be without shelter during a viral airborne pandemic. As such, Wisconsinites must be provided the necessary support to maintain their residential security and made aware of the resources at their disposal.
The Due Diligence Act would alleviate the burden on renters and landlords alike by facilitating an equitable, more transparent landlord/tenant relationship during this and future public health emergencies.
Legislators issued the following statements upon circulation of the bill:
Rep. Francesca Hong, 76th Assembly District:
“Housing is a right, and a right that must be protected by the law. No Wisconsinite should have to face eviction during a pandemic or worry about choosing between making rent or buying groceries at the end of the month. Evictions are a public health crisis, and we must tackle them head-on. The Due Diligence Act will ensure that we protect Wisconsin families and individuals by reducing houselessness and facilitating alternate pathways for renters and landlords when it comes to evictions.”
Rep. Jimmy Anderson, 47th Assembly District:
“As demonstrated by COVID-19, public health crises can come about rapidly and have devastating impacts on Wisconsinites as a whole. We must establish plans to prepare for the next emergency as we figure out solutions to new and old problems that arise. That’s why the Due Diligence Act was created. It ensures all Wisconsinites have the resources they need to maintain their residential security, and avoid homelessness and the compounding health issues it can create for families.”
Rep. Evan Goyke, 18th Assembly District:
“What do you do when an infectious disease outbreak forces you out of work, and in turn, out of housing? Over the past 18 months, tenants and landlords have scrambled to find a way forward. LRB 4619 builds on the many lessons of the past year and a half by ensuring landlords access to relief if available, providing added protections for tenants, and encouraging collaboration through mediation when possible.”
Sen. Melissa Agard, 16th Senate District:
“Housing is a human right. When facing a global pandemic, Wisconsinites should not have to worry about keeping a roof over their head or debate what necessity to go without to afford housing. The Due Diligence Act would facilitate a more equitable, transparent landlord/tenant relationship during this and future public health emergencies. This bill is a path forward to ensure that we are protecting all Wisconsinites during any public health crisis.”