The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the paychecks of millions of Californians. They’ve either lost their jobs or had their hours significantly reduced. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) is introducing AB 828 to help those struggling to make ends meet, imposing a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures on residents whose incomes have been diminished because of the coronavirus.
“We already had a homeless crisis before the coronavirus reached California. The last thing we need is to put more people on the streets and increase community spread,” said Ting. “We must prioritize public health right now and keep people housed.”
AB 828 defines the moratorium period and provides a framework for repayment of past-due monies. Provisions include:
• No evictions or foreclosures during the declared state of emergency related to COVID-19, plus 15 days afterward
• Courts can set up a repayment plan for monies owed and allow residents to remain in the residence
• Payment recovery period may go through March 2021 if economic hardship due to the coronavirus can be proven
In recognition of the same financial difficulties that small businesses and nonprofits are facing during this pandemic, Ting has also agreed to principal co-author SB 939, a proposal by State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) that establishes similar protective measures on the commercial side.
“People must be able to focus on their own health and the health of our community, and AB 828 ensures people have one less thing worry about financially. We have a moral obligation to keep people stable in their housing and to avoid dislocation and increased homelessness. Absent a safety issue, it is unethical to evict people during this pandemic. This legislation simply hits the pause button and sends a clear signal that we’re serious about keeping people stable and housed so that they can recover as we come out of the emergency,” said Wiener, who is also a principal co-author on Ting’s AB 828.
Both bills are expected to be acted on once the Legislature re-convenes. In the meantime, Ting will continue to engage with groups and constituents, welcoming input not only on these proposals, but also other policy ideas that can help California get through and recover from this public health crisis.
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