Despite the fears of tenant advocates, an extension of California’s eviction safeguards expired Thursday night, leaving thousands at risk of losing their homes.
After more than two years of legislative action by lawmakers trying to prevent the eviction of vulnerable Californians during the pandemic, the protections were repealed.
Eleni Kounalakis signed legislation in March that extended the protections for persons receiving rental assistance through June 30th, which is the latest extension. She explained that the additional time will help others in the state who are still trying to get emergency assistance.
As a result, landlords who wished to evict tenants had to first apply for financial help to reimburse the rent owed, which expired in September of last year. This prevented evictions from occurring.
Covid-19 Rent Relief, a state-funded program with a budget of more than $1 billion, was created to help low-income Californians with past-due rent payments.
According to the state’s rent relief dashboard, 329,327 of the 398,526 households that applied for rent assistance were served as of Thursday, which is the most recent data available.
According to the dashboard, the state paid out more than $3.8 billion to individuals who were qualified for help on average.
Even though campaigners believe that thousands of families are at risk of being evicted, eviction safeguards were revoked on Thursday night despite their claims that the state has yet to respond to their requests for a rent reduction.
Case managers had gone over every application filed through the Housing is Key portal, and the staff was calling applicants who had incomplete tasks on their application, according to state officials in June.
For months, the program had come under fire for being tardy to pay out benefits.
The Department of Housing and Community Development has been accused of “administrating the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in a way that is opaque and disproportionately harms tenants based on race, color, and national origin,” according to a lawsuit filed by several tenant organizations last month.
Tenants in locations without established local rent relief programs relied on the government to provide them with their money.
At least one-third of a household’s income had to be below the county’s Area Median Income (AMI).
As part of the application process, renters were required to certify that they had suffered financial hardship as a result of the implementation of COVID-19 and to submit various documents to support their claim.
Inquiries have been made to the Housing Department.
Until at least July 22, 2023, the city of Los Angeles maintains a moratorium on evictions. Tenant rights are likewise protected in the county of Los Angeles.