California Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced on Jan. 25 the proposed extension of California’s highly debated eviction moratorium.
Pointing to the pandemic as a clear and obvious burden, Governor Newsom acknowledged that too many residents are still only one-paycheck away from being homeless and protections are still needed.
“Today [Jan. 25] we are announcing an agreement to extend the eviction moratorium in California through June 30, 2021 – protecting tenants and small landlords from losing their housing as the nation continues to confront the pandemic,” Gov. Newsom said. “We are also moving forward as quickly as possible to deploy California’s share of the latest federal stimulus bill – ensuring that up to $2.6 billion in renter aid is administered quickly, equitably and accountably.”
The legislature must approve a monumental decision which would allocate federal funds to pay off 80% of most people’s unpaid rent only if landlords agree to forgive the additional 20%. Above all, the proposal would also extend the eviction moratorium until June 30.
The moratorium narrative, which was largely debated by landlords from the start, has now seen a favorable shift to their side.
“Housing advocates worry the plan gives landlords too much power to decide what happens to their tenants’ debt. If landlords refuse to forgive the debt, the state will only pay 25% of their unpaid rent to ensure their tenants qualify for the law preventing evictions through at least June 30. But there appears to be no recourse for tenants whose landlords don’t take the deal.”NBC Bay Area
The plan states that it will cover rent owed from April 2020 to March 2021 and additional coverage for April to June 2021.
“These critically needed federal funds, targeted to the most at-risk households with unpaid back rent, will help tenants stay afloat during and after this pandemic,” Gov. Newsom said. “Income-qualified tenants and their landlords can choose to receive direct rental assistance in exchange for forgiving prior rental debt.”
This will mark the state’s first go-ahead and attempting to pay back dollars owed to those in debt due to the pandemic. NBC reports $2.6 Billion in federal relief money from the recent Coronavirus Rescue Package will be used to fund this program. $1.5 Billion will go to the state, the remaining $1.1 Billion goes to cities and counties with population of at least 200,000 people.
The democratic-majority state legislature will vote on this bill tomorrow Jan. 28.