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NMHC supports bill to freeze rent hike, evictions

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THE Covid-19 pandemic has a “devastating impact” on the lives of many people in the CNMI, and this is why the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. believes that freezing rent increases and evictions “is justified, beneficial and worthy of a good cause.”

NMHC Corporate Director Jesse S. Palacios on Tuesday sent his comment to the Senate Committee on Resources, Economic Development and Program, which is reviewing House Bill 21-112.

Authored by House Minority Leader Edwin Propst, H.B. 21-112 proposes to freeze rent increases, evictions, and foreclosures during a declared state of emergency or major disaster.

In his letter to Sen. Frank Borja, chairman of the Committee on Resources, Economic Development and Program, Palacios said NMHC supports any legislation that provides protection and due process to those households that are especially affected financially by major disasters.

“In this time of a declared state of emergency in the CNMI when public health and lives are at stake as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and its many devastating impacts on society such as that of the loss of income for residents and businesses who find themselves unable to pay rent or maintain their mortgage payments, leading to ‘the threat of eviction or foreclosures,’ local legislation is imperative and that it addresses local or state actions that are not extended nor covered by federal legislation,” Palacios said.

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