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City officials take steps to stop evictions in Orleans Parish during coronavirus measures

'Landlords, you may not evict your tenants. It is illegal,' one official said.

Evictions are on hold in New Orleans as the economic fallout of COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the city.

All city courts are shut down now, and the city has ordered a ban on evictions.

That comes as the number of people seeking unemployment help from the state has more than tripled.

But for renters without a paycheck right now, there is some good news: evictions are not happening right now.

“Not legally,”  said Marjorianna Willman, who heads up the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

Under an emergency court order, evictions will not be allowed in Orleans Parish until at least April 24. And that date could move later if necessary, Willman said.

“This is special for this disaster and this catastrophic event we're going through,” she said. “It has caused for a catastrophic and special conditions.”

A flier from a local rental company made the rounds on social media on Wednesday after it said evictions would still happen. 

Thar caught the attention of City Councilwoman Helena Moreno and her staff, who told the company its actions were not legal right now.

"Evictions are not happening in New Orleans, so therefore landlords should not be putting any types of notices regarding evictions or trying to harass anybody when it comes to an eviction,” Moreno said, “because they're just not happening.”

That company later sent a new letter, saying it would not put anyone out on the streets right now.

“The head of that company said that was an error, that shouldn't have happened,” Moreno said.

It's a message Willman said she hopes all landlords will get.

“I want to be very clear: landlords, you cannot evict your tenants. It is illegal. That means they cannot put their tenants’ possessions on the curb, they should not be harassing their tenants, threatening to call the police,” Willman said. “Tenants, if they are threatening to call the police, you need to know the police will not put you out of your space.”

To report illegal evictions call 311 or the Office of Community Development at (504) 658-4200. Only call 911 for evictions in an emergency situation.

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