The federal moratorium on tenant evictions meant to keep residents in their homes after losing income due to the pandemic is set to expire Saturday but state, county and local eviction freezes remain in place, protecting California residents from being forced from their residences.
As of July 5, more than 3.6 million Americans said they face eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. Every two weeks since May 2020, the bureau has administered the survey online to measure social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
The federal freeze was put into place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September. It was originally set to expire at the end of August but the Biden administration extended the date. The administration has made an 11th-hour push for Congress to further extend the moratorium Friday before the House’s August recess, according to a Politico report.
Top House Democrats initially proposed a six month extension but the proposal was dropped to three months due to a lack of partisan support. But regardless of what happens at the federal level, California, county and local mandates remain in place.
In late June, Gov. Gavin Newsom extended the state’s eviction moratorium for the third time through Sept. 30. LA County Supervisors quickly followed suit and, as it has through much of the pandemic, Long Beach aligned with the state and county guidelines.
While Newsom said a fourth extension is unlikely, California residents can apply to have 100% of their unpaid rent from April 2020 through Sept. 30 paid off using $5.2 billion in funding from the federal government. Eligible residents must earn 80% or less of the area median income.
Nearly 113,000 people have requested more than $1 billion in relief, the Associated Press reports. As of July 20, the state has paid more than $178 million.
While the state allows local eviction ordinances to defer rent obligations through May 31, 2023, the Long Beach ordinance requires tenants to pay at least 25% of back rent by Sept. 30. Tenants then have 12 months to pay back the remainder of rent owed.
After that date, landlords can try to evict tenants for nonpayment if they have been paid less than 25% of back rent. Tenants then have two weeks to apply for rental assistance. If they do not or are not eligible, they can be evicted.
“Beginning Nov. 1, landlords can take tenants to small claims court to recover unpaid rent debt regardless of how much the tenant owes,” according to the state’s tenant protection guidelines. Until Oct. 1, landlords can only evict tenants if they provide a legally valid reason, or a “just cause” eviction, which does not include 30- or 60-day notices.
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