Legislature moves to Extend Eviction Moratorium
February 4, 2021
On Thursday, January 28, the California State Assembly approved SB 89 and SB 91. The two measures will extend AB 3088, the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020, which expires at the end of the month. In addition to extending California's eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021, the bill proposes using $2.6 billion in federal relief as rental subsidies. The proposal would pay landlords 80% of unpaid back rent incurred between April 2020 and March 2021 if landlords agree to forgive the remaining 20% in back rent and agree not to pursue evictions.
"TI spoke in favor of and voted for two bills that are absolutely necessary to protect vulnerable renters from losing their homes in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. We are facing a projected 240,000 new evictions if we don't act immediately to keep people housed. SB 89 and SB 91 together extend the protections we passed in August, which were the nation's strongest tenant protections. These protections will keep tenants whom are acing unprecedented financial hardship in their homes. Both bills will provide realistic and creative solutions, targeting relief to those who need it most while offering support to those providing housing for these communities," said Assemblymember Bloom.
U.S. Census Bureau survey found that more than 1.9 million adult Californians living in rental homes reported being behind on their rent. Furthermore, the State's Judicial Council reported that evictions in the state are projected to double to 240,000 cases. Without legislative intervention, this avalanche of eviction cases could further impact and overwhelm the courts.
"These bills aren't perfect and will not solve the problem in the long run, but we had to take action now to prevent hundreds of thousands of people from falling into homelessness in the next couple of months. For many, this would be a potential death sentence. SB 89 and SB 91 will keep people in their homes and prevent small landlords from going bankrupt while we continue to work on longer-term solutions. I am committed to working with the Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee and Leadership on these efforts so that come June 30, we will be ready to further protect tenants and support Californians during this difficult time. With the vaccine rolling out, we can be optimistic that we are on the road to recovery. But it is a very long road ahead and now is not the time to lower our guard or pretend we can go back to business as usual," said Assemblymember Bloom.
SB 89 and SB 91 now head to the Governor's office for his signature.