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Gov. Newsom Supports An Extension Of Eviction Protections

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Sacramento, CA — A proposal to extend California’s eviction protections through the end of June has Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s top two legislative leaders’ support. The plan will use federal money to pay off up to 80% of most tenants’ unpaid rent, but only if landlords agree to forgive the remaining 20% and pledge not to evict tenants. The proposal, which must be approved by the state Legislature, would extend a state law scheduled to expire next Monday that prevents landlords from evicting tenants who could not pay their rent between March and August because of the coronavirus pandemic.

To be eligible for the protection, tenants must sign a “declaration of hardship” that they have been impacted by the pandemic and must pay at least 25% of their rent due between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31. This new proposal will also use the $2.6 billion Congress recently approved for California to pay off some of that unpaid rent.

If landlords refuse that deal, the state would pay them 25% of their tenants’ unpaid rent and prevent them from being kicked out of the homes until after June 30.

The joint statement on eviction moratorium extension from Gov. Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon reads:

“COVID-19 continues to devastate communities across our state and too many Californians remain one paycheck away from losing their apartments or homes. These families need protection and relief now.

“Today, 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. 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.

“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. Income-qualified tenants and their landlords can choose to receive direct rental assistance in exchange for forgiving prior rental debt.

“While we are proud of this agreement, which maintains California’s COVID eviction protections as the strongest statewide rules in the nation, our work is far from over. This eviction moratorium and rapid deployment of funds to the most at-risk are among our top priorities. But we have more work to do, together, to tackle the structural housing cost crisis in California. The pandemic exacerbated these issues, it did not create them. And our work to address these fundamental issues must continue with urgency and resolve.

“We thank the many stakeholders who have engaged in this process for the past several months, and we recommit ourselves to the work ahead to maintain California’s position as the most compassionate, progressive state in America.”