Antonio Ray Harvey | California Black Media and ONME News (podcast)
In the last episode of Central Valley Eviction Crisis docuseries, narrator Julia Dudley Najieb addresses the current band-aid solutions and long term suggested solutions moving forward.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) announced the extension of the eviction moratorium to protect Californians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
If it were not for their intervention, On Feb.1, landlords would have been able to start eviction proceedings against tenants who had not paid their rent due to a COVID-19 related financial hardship.
“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,” the elected officials said in a written statement.
Watch past episode concerning Central Valley Evictions
The extension also gives the state time to quickly deploy California’s share of the latest federal stimulus bill, which has allocated up to $2.6 billion in renter aid.
The federal funds, targeted to the most at-risk households with unpaid back rent, will help tenants stay afloat during and after this pandemic.
“I strongly support the agreement announced today that will extend and expand protections for small landlords and tenants,” said Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus. “We are still in both an economic and a health crisis. This agreement protects tenants as well as small landlords by providing them with the monetary support and legal protections they need to survive.”
AB 3088, authored by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and passed into law last August, temporarily prevented evictions last year. Chiu introduced a second bill, AB 15, in December calling for rental relief for tenants through the end of the month and delayed rental recovery by landlords until March 2021. It was making its way through the legislature when the governor announced the extension.
With the coronavirus still spreading and vaccinations still underway, many Californians are still unemployed and unable to pay for their basic living expenses. The extension of AB 3088 serves as a lifeline.
Newsom, Atkins, and Rendon stated that “the pandemic exacerbated these issues, it did not create them” and said they would “work to address these fundamental issues” with urgency and resolve.
“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 trio said in the written statement.