Govt. provides shelter to siblings evicted from apartment amid lockdown

Gender Minister Aishath Mohamed Didi during a National Emergency Operations Center press briefing on April 5, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The government has provided temporary shelter to two people who were evicted from their apartment due to their inability to pay rent.

The case had garnered attention following a post made a social media user who saw a young man and woman out in the street carrying their luggage on Monday.

According to the post, the two were found near the Machangolhi cemetery on Dhilbahaaru Magu, and when questioned, said that they had been evicted from their apartment due to their inability to pay rent.

“When asked whether they had anywhere else to go, they said they had a sister who lived in Maafannu district, but that she said she would not provide them shelter even if they went to her, and was no longer responding to their calls,” reads the post.

The siblings were later rescued by Maldives Police Service and provided temporary shelter at Imaaduddin School.

Gender Minister Aishath Mohmed Didi, in a tweet on Tuesday, urged people to exhibit humanity amid the current crisis.

“The brother and sister evicted due to inability to pay rent have been provided a temporary shelter. This is the moment to show our humanity. If you give you get back in abundance,” said Aishath in her tweet.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Maldivian economy hard, resulting in layoffs and pay cuts.

While some landlords in Male’ have cut rents out of consideration of their tenants, there has also been a rise in complaints regarding landlords issuing eviction notices due to inability to pay rent.

Family Legal Clinic has filed a petition with the Parliament’s Gender and Human Rights Committee, asking for the enactment of a sunset law to prohibit evictions amid the current crisis.

Male’ City has been under lockdown since April 15, when the city identified its first virus case. Cases in the capital alone have since surged to 64, and the authorities now believe virus cases had gone undetected in the capital for at least two to three months.

The government is also providing temporary shelter and food to more than 80 people left homeless in the streets of Male’ amid the lockdown.