California’s statewide residential eviction moratorium has been extended to the end of June.
The state legislature approved the measure and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it late last week. The measure is intended to prevent mass evictions and a surge in homelessness in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the terms of the bill, landlords cannot evict a tenant provided they pay at least 25% of their rent and attest they face financial hardship due to COVID-19 and its effect on the economy.
The statewide eviction moratorium was set to expire on Jan. 31, but with passage of the extension, it now goes to June 30.
There had been talk in Sacramento of extending the moratorium until the end of Dec. 2021, but apparently this midyear compromise was made via negotiations between invested groups. The concern about extending the ban to the end of the year was that the properties might go into foreclosure if property owners go that long without rental income.
The bill also provides $2.6 billion in federal funds for rent subsidies that will help pay past-due rent owed by low-income tenants since April. Under the terms of that, the rent subsidy would pay landlords 80% of the total amount of rent in arrears accrued between April 2020 and March 2021 as long as landlords agree to forgive the remaining 20% and not pursue evictions.
The exact details of how to apply for that rent subsidy should be announced in the coming days.
In West Hollywood, approximately 2,500 households report they have been unable to pay full rent during the pandemic, according to a city study. Approximately 90,000 households in California are behind on their rent according to an estimate by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.
If the state had not approved the eviction moratorium extension, the City of West Hollywood was prepared to do so. At its last meeting, the City Council granted emergency powers to City Manager Paul Arevalo to extend the moratorium if the situation warranted it.
The eviction moratorium is scheduled to be discussed at Monday night’s West Hollywood City Council meeting. However, given the state’s extending the moratorium, the Council’s discussion will likely be brief.