SACRAMENTO, Calif. — To avoid mass evictions, California legislators passed bills Thursday to extend the current eviction moratorium to June 30, 2021.
The previous moratorium was set to expire on Jan. 31.
As hundreds of thousands of Californians struggle to stay housed, lawmakers say, while it doesn’t completely solve the problem, the eviction moratorium extension is a step in the right direction.
Before Thursday's vote, tenants could not be evicted as long as they paid 25% of their rent. Now, tenants can pay at least 25% of their rent monthly or provide a lump payment by the end of June.
Also under the bill, federal funds from the latest stimulus package will be used to pay landlords back up to 80% of back rent accumulated from April 2020 to March 31, 2021.
"And they will have to forgive 20% of that rent that’s owed to them over that period," said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D- San Francisco).
Ting said if landlords decide not to participate, tenants can apply to have the state pay 25% of their rent to avoid eviction.
"If a landlord doesn’t enroll in the program they still cannot evict the tenant until the eviction moratorium has been passed," explained Ting.
And basically, the extension keeps back door evictions from happening. While a landlord can still take a tenant to civil court, they cannot take a case to evictions court, at least until June 30, 2021.
"Our extension had more tenant protections than the federal one. I just think it's so important. We have millions of Californians who are really on the verge of homelessness," Ting said.
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