Updated: Jan 20, 2022
Local and state efforts have successfully allowed Sacramento’s most vulnerable residents who have lost income or faced increased expenses due to COVID-19 to remain in their homes - exactly as health officials have urged us all to do to slow the spread of this deadly virus.
But during the biggest public health crisis of our lifetimes, the security and safety tenants have held onto while maintaining their current housing will be gone in two and half weeks.
That is unless local electeds act fast to protect them. The emergency eviction moratorium adopted by the Sacramento City Council in March 2020 lasted only until September 30, 2020. Assembly Bill 3088 (Chiu) was signed by Governor Newsom and took effect on August 31, 2020. The urgency measure extended protection through January 31 for tenants statewide, who have still been unable to pay rent after experiencing financial impacts from COVID-19.
And after that?? San Francisco Assemblymember Chiu already introduced another urgency measure early last month, AB 15, which if passed by a two-thirds vote of the legislature, would take effect immediately to extend the COVID-19 statewide eviction moratorium through January 2022.
The only problem, of course, is that there are Sacramento landlords ready to not only evict their tenants beginning February 1, but to also sue their tenants in small claims court for unpaid rent beginning March 1 when that becomes a permissible option .
Millions of California tenants could be evicted for unpaid rent if they don’t pay at least 25% of their monthly rent that was due between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021. For millions suffering from lost income during the pandemic, many have not been able to return to work and federal unemployment benefits have run out. Others were never able to receive unemployment in the first place.
Pushing thousands into homelessness and a level of economic poverty from which they will never be able to recover will only exacerbate the public health and economic devastation caused by COVID-19.
City of Sacramento Council Member Katie Valenzuela requested an update on the City’s Tenant Protection Program (TPP) at the December 15, 2020 Council meeting.
The opportunity to prevent more individuals and families from experiencing homelessness and being exposed to greater COVID-19 risks is fast approaching. We need the City and County to establish flexible payment plan options that allow people to remain housed during the pandemic. The eviction moratoriums must be put in place at the County level, and be extended for the remainder of 2021.
Call to action Write to your City Councilmember and Sacramento County Supervisor that local eviction protection is critical.