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New law extends California eviction ban for some renters – Press Telegram

By ADAM BEAM

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – Tens of thousands of Californians facing eviction on Friday for failing to pay rent will be able to stay in their homes for at least another three months after Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis signed a law to extend protections in a few hours. before they expire.

California will pay people’s unpaid rent if they are late in their payments due to the pandemic. People must apply for the money and state law says they cannot be evicted while their application is pending.

This law was scheduled to expire at midnight on Thursday. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of households still have pending applications as of Tuesday. It would be impossible for the state to prosecute all those before the deadline, which means that households still waiting to get the money could be evicted as of Friday.

Lawmakers voted Thursday to ban evictions from anyone who has a pending application until June 30. Kounalakis signed the bill on Thursday afternoon because Gov. Gavin Newsom left the state on vacation with her family, becoming the first woman to sign a state law in the United States. History of California.

“We’re not going to allow Californians to suffer, lose their homes or even their income because of the processing times of applications,” said Assemblyman Tim Grayson, a Concord Democrat who wrote the law.

Although the law will stop evictions for people who have asked for help, it will not give tenants more time to ask for help. California’s emergency rental assistance program will stop accepting new applications by midnight on Thursday. The program has been open for over a year. But housing advocates say many people have not yet applied because they do not speak English or have trouble gathering the documents needed to determine their eligibility.

Carmen Rivera, 54, said she lived in her car for six years with her young daughter before getting an apartment in Sacramento. But she was unable to work much during the pandemic as a caregiver for the elderly because she was concerned about taking the virus home to her daughter, who said she had chronic asthma.

He received help from March to April last year. He got another job, but said he “lost it immediately” because he was exposed to COVID. Rivera has said he has not paid rent since August. She owes her owner at least $ 10,000.

She asked for help again, but this time it was not approved. He did not have wifi in his house, so he had to consult a device in the library that allowed him to connect to the Internet. She submitted her application in February, but said it was rejected because she could not find the necessary documents in time.

He has since resubmitted the application, and that application is still pending. You are also waiting for a background check to start another job. The new law is likely to keep her at home while her application is pending. Meanwhile, Rivera is anxiously awaiting news.

“I’m struggling all I can to keep my apartment because being six years on the street with my daughter, I can tell you it’s not easy,” he said.

Some local governments have tried to pass their own laws to protect people from eviction. But state lawmakers are mostly preventing them from doing so at the request of landlords, who say they want statewide consistency rather than a mosaic of local laws. State lawmakers have imposed protections against evictions across the state, and in return, local governments have been barred from doing so.

But local leaders say what is happening now is breaking that promise. The new law only protects people who filed the application until Thursday and no longer gives tenants time to apply. From Friday, anyone who does not apply for assistance may be evicted for unpaid rent.

In San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors passed a law banning evictions for unpaid rent starting April 1st. But the new law prohibits doing so until at least June 30.

“It’s completely outrageous,” said Supervisor Dean Preston, who sponsored the San Francisco move. “The state should help us here and not tie our hands. It’s really just the worst example of a policy of special interest.”

Tenants are not the only ones suffering. Some landlords have been without rent for more than a year. The California Apartments Association, which says most of its members are small owners of “mother and pop,” said the state needs consistency with state law.

“It’s been two years. There’s no need for any local law to offer tenants another year of free rent,” said Debra Carlton, executive vice president of state public affairs for the California Apartments Association. “(A) Unemployment rate has returned to ‘normal’, so what’s the problem? Why does San Francisco want its own law?

New law extends California eviction ban for some renters – Press Telegram Source link New law extends California eviction ban for some renters – Press Telegram

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