Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order allowing local jurisdictions to halt evictions, foreclosures and utility shut-offs comes as the coronavirus is tightening its grip on the state.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and San Francisco’s chief executive London Breed have already declared moratoriums on evictions, and San Jose has imposed a 30-day ban on evictions against residents who can show that they cannot pay rent because of a loss of income related to COVID-19. Oakland’s City Council plans to petition the Alameda County Superior Court to halt ongoing eviction cases and refrain from taking new cases.
The move also came the same day as six Bay Area counties — including San Francisco — announced “shelter in place” orders. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday advised residents to prepare for the same in the next 48 hours, according to the New York Times.
“People shouldn’t lose or be forced out of their home because of the spread of COVID-19,” Newsom said in a statement Monday evening, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram. “Over the next few weeks, everyone will have to make sacrifices – but a place to live shouldn’t be one of them. I strongly encourage cities and counties to take up this authority to protect Californians.”
The order will be in effect through the end of May and could be extended.
Last week, eight state lawmakers wrote the governor requesting moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures. “As this public health emergency escalates, California’s 17 million renters are at great risk of hardship both from the effects of the virus itself and efforts to control and mitigate its spread,” the legislators wrote.
“An increase in evictions, terminations of housing assistance, foreclosures, and related negative actions will affect the ability of community members to maintain good hygiene and take the basic measures that we have all been advised to take in order to protect ourselves and our communities,” the group added. [Long Beach Press Telegram] — Tina Daunt