FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
SAN DIEGO – As part of his efforts to protect vulnerable San Diegans and build back better from the pandemic, Mayor Todd Gloria won City Council approval for his proposal to extend eviction protections for renters and businesses unable to pay their full rent due to the impacts of COVID-19.
“Getting through this pandemic, financially and emotionally, is hard enough for residents and small businesses. The last thing they need to worry about is being evicted,” Mayor Gloria said. “I thank the City Council for partnering with me to ensure that San Diegans won’t lose their home or their storefront because they couldn’t make the rent due to COVID-19. We will get through this together, and we will build back better.”
“At today's City Council meeting, I was honored to make the motion to extend the City of San Diego's eviction moratorium,” said City Councilmember Raul Campillo. “We must protect our residents and small business owners who continue to be hurt by the pandemic as a result of former President Trump's bungling of the rollout of the vaccine. Especially given the fact that we are already facing a homelessness crisis in our City, it is unjustifiable to possibly throw anyone out on the streets.”
The new moratorium on evictions comes in a pair of ordinances approved today, one for residential tenants and one for commercial tenants.
Under the ordinances, qualifying tenants cannot be evicted for unpaid rent due to financial hardship related to COVID-19 accrued during the period starting Feb. 1, 2021, and ending 60 days after the City’s COVID-19 emergency declaration ends. For residential tenants, any unpaid rent that accumulates during this period and is not repaid will be converted to consumer debt.
The eviction ban for residential tenants will remain in effect until 60 days after the City’s COVID-19 emergency declaration is lifted. The protections for commercial tenants will remain in effect through June 30, 2021, or 60 days after the City’s emergency declaration is lifted, whichever comes first. The City’s emergency declaration will be lifted after the state of California’s emergency declaration ends.
Residents and businesses remain responsible for any unpaid rent or lease payments. Tenants and landlords are encouraged to work out repayment plans. Tenants must contact their landlords in order to qualify for protection.
Affected businesses would have six months from the end of the commercial eviction moratorium to make any outstanding payments.
Pending state legislation, Senate Bill 91 and Assembly Bill 80, would extend current statewide eviction protections for residential tenants through June 30, 2021. The Legislature is expected to vote on the bill this week. If adopted, the state law would take precedence over the local residential eviction moratorium adopted by the Council today, which would instead go into effect on July 1, or whenever state protections expire.
Mayor Gloria announced last week that the City has received $42.3 million in federal funding to provide financial assistance to cover unpaid rent and utilities for qualifying residential households affected by COVID-19. This funding will be distributed through a program administered by the San Diego Housing Commission, and details on eligibility and the application process will be forthcoming.
The City will continue advocating for a fair share of state and federal assistance for small business relief proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden.