City Council addressed the future of eviction moratoria and the utilization of West Hollywood emergency funds in response to COVID-19 at their meeting this week.
The moratorium on commercial and residential leases is set to expire Sept. 30. Neither the state nor the county are expected to extend the protections granted to commercial and residential renters since the start of the pandemic last year.
Fearing that the Delta variant was still a threat to the stability of WeHo residents, City Council decided to extend protections permitted by state law through the end of January 2022, which includes a moratorium on no-fault evictions.
West Hollywood has an eviction moratorium in place protecting commercial tenants from eviction for failure to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 through September 30, 2021, effectively deferring payment of rent during the current commercial eviction moratorium period. The commercial moratorium was left unchanged.
According to the staff report:
Continuing the Eviction Prevention and Defense Program will allow more West Hollywood residents access to intervention services and legal representation so that tenants can ascertain their rights and responsibilities to prevent unnecessary displacement. This program is beneficial to both landlords and tenants so that all parties can communicate effectively about their respective rights and obligations.
From March 16 to September 30, 2020, the City’s local eviction protections applied to tenants who were unable to pay rent due to COVID. To prevent a wave of evictions and piecemeal regulations throughout the state, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 3088 (AB 3088) on August 31, 2020. The bill enacted the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 to provide statewide eviction protections for residential tenants experiencing a financial hardship relating to COVID-19. Thus, beginning October 1, 2020, the state eviction protection rules took over in West Hollywood. Since then, the state’s residential eviction moratorium has been amended three times, including two extensions, and renamed the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act.
To date, the City has allocated $4 million in emergency funding for services related to the pandemic; of this, 62% has been directed towards the provision of social services.