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Newsom Announces New Statewide Eviction Moratorium

-Editorial

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders have reached an agreement on a bill to temporarily protect people from evictions.

The bill would ban evictions for tenants who have not been able to pay their rent because of the coronavirus between the months of March and August.

Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced that they have reached agreement on AB 3088, co-authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu and Monique Limón and Senators Steven Bradford and Anna Caballero, to protect millions of tenants and small property owners from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has devastated communities across the state – from the tragedy of lives lost to the deep economic hardships placed upon those who are one paycheck away from losing their apartments or homes. Struggling renters need protection from evictions for missed rent, and property owners need relief from foreclosure. Our agreement today provides both,” Newsom stated.

The agreement protects California renters with COVID-related economic hardship by eliminating the possibility of eviction from March 2020 through January 31, 2021, so long as the tenant makes certain declarations and partial payments going forward. Tenants are still responsible for repaying unpaid rent eventually, but it can never be the basis of an eviction.

Second, the agreement protects small property owners from foreclosures by adding new accountability and transparency protections, including expanding the Homeowner Bill of Rights to cover all properties from single-family homes up to four units owned by small landlords.

“These new laws will provide immediate protection for millions of struggling Californians worried about keeping a roof over their heads or making next month’s mortgage payments,” the governor added.  “But as significant as these new protections are, we acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic will still lead to some foreclosures and evictions, causing great pain for the families experiencing them.”

Newsom said they remain committed to the well-being of all Californians, and only with new federal stimulus funding for landlord and renter relief can they fully address the needs of all who have lost jobs or homes because of this pandemic.

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