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Renters demand more protection from eviction during coronavirus pandemic

Renters and community leaders gathered at Sacramento City Hall to demand more protection for renters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Tuesday rally pushed calls for more renter security during the coronavirus pandemic. It was put on by the Alliance of California Community Empowerment in an effort to catch the attention of Sacramento leadership.

One woman stood in the crowd hoping to find answers .

“It seems like in Sacramento there are so few protections for tenants that it’s all too easy to evict somebody, especially if they have been in their place for less than a year,” said the concerned renter from Del Paso Heights, who did not want to be identified due of fear of eviction from her landlord.

She said her landlord raised the rent and that she is barely making ends meet. She fears that she will lose her home.

“I think it would be very damaging to people if they end up having that huge debt when the rent does come due, because it is going to come due,” the renter said.

The federal eviction moratorium under the Federal CARES Act in Sacramento expires September 30th. Until that date, renters do not have to pay rent if they are impacted by the coronavirus during that time .

Renters have until January 28 to pay back the owed rent. However, Kitty Bolte, with Sacramento Tenants Union, said Assembly Bill 1436 would help extend protections for tenants through April of next year if it passed. 

“We think rent should be canceled for tenants who couldn’t be working during this period [and] couldn’t be paying rent. But we also recognize that bill is better than what we have now, which is this single law keeping tenants safe," Bolte said. "So, we hope the legislature takes the appropriate action and passes that bill to give tenants more protection.”

Under the moratorium, landlords can be fined $25,000 if they evict a tenant before the September expiration date. Bolte said AB 1436 will do more to stop landlords from collecting funds that renters don’t have due to the pandemic.

WATCH ALSO: 

Many California eviction moratoriums set to expire, many are still struggling to pay rent

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