RILS HOUSING LAW CENTER: COVID-19 UPDATES

Evictions Halted Until At Least April 17, 2020

With nearly all Americans being told to stay at home, COVID-19 has underscored the importance of housing stability for all Rhode Islanders. Approximately one third of Rhode Island families are cost burdened by housing, and thousands more have housing that is not stable, safe or secure. During this rapidly evolving state of emergency, Rhode Island Legal Services' ("RILS") Housing Law Center remains dedicated to keeping Rhode Islanders informed about housing-related COVID-19 developments. And while RILS is not accepting appointments in order to thwart the spread of COVID-19, we remain open and are monitoring relevant events as they unfold.

On March 17, 2020, Chief Justice Paul Suttell issued Executive Order 2020-4. The Executive Order provides, among other things, that non-emergency matters in Rhode Island courts will not be heard until after April 17, 2020. This includes evictions.

Please refer to our COVID-19 Updates for more information.

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What Is Fair Housing?

"Fair housing" refers to practices that comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act, originally passed in 1968, and similar state and local laws. The Fair Housing Act, as amended, prohibits discrimination in housing and related transactions on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability and familial status (presence or anticipated presence of children under the age of 18 years old in a home). Rhode Island state law protects even more people, including those who are discriminated against on account of marital status, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, and their status as a domestic abuse victim. Residents who have physical or mental disabilities that substantially limit one or more major life activities, have additional protections under the law.