With the eviction moratorium scheduled to expire next week, Gov. Gavin Newsom is meeting privately with legislative leaders to discuss whether to approve an extension.
A reprieve for tenants would infuriate landlords who have urged lawmakers to allow the ban to expire on June 30, which is also when the federal moratorium ends.
But any extension would give the state time to pay off unpaid rent for low-income tenants, according to the AP, which first reported the negotiations. Last month, California unveiled a $5.2 billion plan to cover backrent and overdue utility bills — double the amount state legistlators approved in January.
Still, it’s unlikely the state could distribute all those funds by the end of the month. Through May 31, California had approved less than 10 percent of rent relief claims, amounting to just $32 million, according to the report, citing state figures.
Tenant advocates also cite high unemployment rates among low-wage workers as reason to extend the moratorium.
“The stock market may be fine, we may be technically reopened, but people in low-wage jobs — which are disproportionately people of color — are not back yet,” Madeline Howard, of the Western Center on Law and Poverty told the AP.
Landlords would benefit from the state distributing unpaid rent relief but apartment owner groups are largely against an extension. They cite California’s economic recovery and full reopening.
This month, several landlord and broker group sent a letter to President Biden, urging his administration to let the federal ban expire.
[AP] — Isabella Farr