Plain Talk: "We have no interest in trying to screw landlords," ACLU leader says of call for a moratorium on evictions

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North Dakota nonprofit groups held a remote news conference Monday, March 30, to talk about a letter they are sending to Gov. Doug Burgum, urging him to issue an executive order placing a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures as a way to stem an expected surge in homelessness due to impacts from the coronavirus outbreak. Special to The Forum
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The ACLU of North Dakota, among other organizations, has called on Gov. Doug Burgum to issue a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the coronavirus crisis.

Dane DeKrey, a spokesman for the ACLU, says it's about protecting renters but not making landlords the bad guys. "We have no interest in trying to screw landlords," DeKrey said on this episode of Plain Talk.

What the ACLU would like to see is an executive order which states that individuals can't be evicted, can't be foreclosed on, can't be charged late fees or interest for failure to pay, and can't see their credit rating downgraded.

DeKrey says he does still wand landlords to be paid what they're owed, just not right now.


"We're asking for a pause button," he added.

Why should landlords be forced into a situation where they're providing, at their expense, relief from coronavirus?

"That's a good question," DeKrey said, adding that it doesn't have an easy answer.

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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Related Topics: DOUG BURGUM
Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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