City Extends Eviction Ban for Renters and Businesses

by on January 27, 2021 · 5 comments

in Health, San Diego

Photo by Judith Starker on her way out of OB.

Reposted as a public service announcement.

Tenants would still need to pay back rent.

By Phillip Molnar / San Diego Union-Tribune / Jan. 26, 2021

San Diego City Council voted Tuesday to extend an eviction ban for renters and businesses hit hard by COVID-19.

The council unanimously approved the business eviction moratorium and voted 8-1 on the residential moratorium. Both laws were achieved by declaring a state of emergency. The actions were separate from a $42.3 million rent relief program the city is still working on.

Both moves by the council do not erase rent owed to commercial or residential landlords, and require proof of hardship related to COVID-19.

Technically speaking, the residential moratorium does not have a set end date. The moratorium for residents goes until 60 days after the emergency declaration is lifted, but it is unknown how long that will be. However, it will probably last until the state decides the crisis is over.

For business owners, the eviction ban lasts until June 30, or 60 days after the city’s emergency declaration is lifted, whichever comes first.

While the city has had eviction moratoriums going back to the start of the pandemic, Councilman Raul Campillo said COVID-19 had only gotten worse in Southern California and continued help was needed.

“These measures are crucial to ensure that we continue, and strengthen, protections for both residential and commercial tenants,” he said.

Councilman Chris Cate voted for the eviction moratorium for business renters but against the moratorium for residents. He reasoned that the state had its own eviction moratorium in the works and it would end up superseding whatever the council passed at the city level.

State officials announced Monday that they have agreed to extend a statewide eviction ban for tenants through June. While that legislation still needs to be voted on (probably late this week), it is likely to pass and would supersede San Diego’s latest residential protections. That law does not give any eviction protections to businesses, unlike San Diego’s recent action.

Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert said she was pleased implementation took place at the same time the city is gearing up to launch a rent relief program. It received the $42 million from the second pandemic stimulus package approved by Congress but is still formulating a plan with the San Diego Housing Commission on how the money will be distributed.

She said she heard from many small landlords and businesses that opposed the eviction bans, but were hopeful the rent relief program could help them get paid.

“Making sure that our landlords get paid and our renters stay in their homes are both goals we need to accomplish,” she said.

Not all businesses will be afforded protections, with the law mainly focusing on smaller companies. It is limited to businesses with 100 or fewer employees before the pandemic, and with tax receipts of less than $3 million. They must also have a valid San Diego business tax certificate. Nonprofit companies are also eligible for the protections.

The majority of public speakers who called into the City Council meeting were supportive of the ban, despite some pushback back from landlord groups. The city also received numerous letters from both sides.

Laura Nunn, policy director at the San Diego Housing Federation, said the people falling behind on rent were among the most vulnerable — unemployed, from low-income households and people of color.

“As a matter of social and racial justice, you must take steps to keep these families and individuals safely housed,” she said.

In a letter to the council, Kerrie Ozarski, president of San Diego-based Reef Real Estate Services, argued there was no financial relief for commercial property owners — meaning they were feeling the brunt of the city’s policies.

“I am begging you to reconsider implementing a commercial moratorium on evictions,” she wrote.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said in a statement after the meeting that he was thrilled the eviction bans passed and said the last thing residents and small businesses should be worried about right now is getting evicted.

“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,” he wrote. “We will get through this together, and we will build back better.”

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks January 29, 2021 at 2:24 pm

My question concerns what comes after? One of my former students graduated with a welding certificate in Chico, got a job and continued going to school at night. Then Covid came…and his job went away because the shop ‘downsized’ due to reduced orders and he was the new hire guy. And people were getting sick in the factory building he was working at, they couldn’t possibly follow mask regulations and physical distancing in that place and the management didn’t care is what he said. 90% of the employee workers are Hispanic…we’ve seen how other corporate factory management (meatpackers etc) all over the country did the same to their low-wage workers. Profits over lives is the mantra.

So he’s been out of work almost a year, still trying to go to school to keep his student loans coming his main source of income at this point since his unemployment ran out, doesn’t own a vehicle so has to rely on public transportation, has applied for job after job and nobody is hiring down to the local dollar store so is doing whatever odd jobs he can find to feed himself…and he’s way behind in rent though he pays whatever he has left from the monthly bills like electricity and the emergency dental bill. He’s also a cook but there are long lines full of restaurant workers out there also unemployed…why would a manager hire a cook knowing as soon as the cook can find a better paying welding job he’s gone?

Like millions of others, he’s screwed financially. The last figure I read was over 40 million households are facing eviction when the moratorium is finally lifted, so just how is he and all the rest ever going to be able to ‘pay’ back the accumulated back rent? A dollar a month, $10 a month, $100 a month…and then we get to the point where so much is going to back rent that they can’t pay the current rent and get evicted anyway.

Of course all this depends on there being ‘enough’ jobs once Covid becomes manageable (hopefully like what we did to Polio Virus and Smallpox Virus when I was a kid; kill this damned bug dead). In the year or two or three or however many years that it takes this crashed economy sputtering along to regain hoped-for growth; does anybody think that many jobs will suddenly appear instantly?

He realizes all this, and has wondered what the hell is he going to do? He’ll NEVER catch up and knows it even if he suddenly lucks into a decent paying job. And if he drops out of school the student loans will drop onto his head, too. He lives in a tiny studio apartment by the way, not living extravagant by any means, and he’s frugal with finances. I imagine that the stress levels of all those millions is pretty dang bad at this point, but in another couple of years of continued pandemic just like 1918/20? Oh my.

Unfortunately the economic system we live under, neoliberal corporate capitalism, is not very suited to dealing with the long-term fallout of a pandemic. This continued moratorium…how many readers here are facing this future? The politicians need to start talking about long-term solutions or are they unable to face the very serious consequences (but not personally) millions are facing?

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar Geoff Page January 29, 2021 at 4:32 pm

You said it, seal, very well told. I think we all know of someone in those straits and it is heart-breaking. But, what you highlighted is the problem of jobs. The pandemic which has temporarily over-shadowed the larger problem of jobs going away. Join LinkedIn and look at the feed. Delighted engineers and business people posting the latest technological innovation that cuts out labor.

These are amazing things and it’s easy to see why they get excited, especially the engineers because this stuff fascinates them. The businesspeople tout the saved labor but don’t say anything about where those former workers will go.

I watched a video of a warehouse robot, a little machine that runs on a track. It has a face painted on it. Runs down to a location along a stack of shelves. Stops. Wheels turn 90 degrees and it runs sideways to the rack. It attaches to the rack, climbs to an upper shelf, down the shelf, picks up a package, and then backtracks to the floor to transport the box.

To me, perhaps along with climate change, I think the biggest crisis facing this country and the world is how will people make money if there are no jobs. This will include everyone. Even professionals like attorneys. I saw a contest between a computer and an experienced lawyer and the computer won showing the work that was used in the contest could be gone. But, it’s the lower rungs that are already feeling it and feel it first. I’m not a young man so I won’t have to live though this, but my kids will.

Sorry to hear about your friend.

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks January 30, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Yeah Geoff, I’ve been on LinkedIn for years (my small shop along with the concert security network) and also see the same thing popping up over and over about the latest techno innovations that continue to make people…useless. But oh my are the inventors all ga-ga over how much this will ‘save’ the employers. Nobody looks down the line at the long-term repercussions but that’s not what our species has ever been good at anyway… Had 38 yr old David in Chico call late last night again, talked until 3am, and I just don’t have any pearls of old surfer dude wisdom to say. All the jobs he’s been applying for are all online, no in-person interviews at all, and he makes sure he pays his cellphone bill since that’s the only chance he has. He is expecting to get evicted eventually and has no idea what he’s going to do or where he’s going to go. I’ve been homeless, back in the 70s, and know that feeling too well.

As for not having to live through this, you might have meant living to see the ‘end result’ of the on-going mechanization of damned near everything. Giant Hoovervilles spread out like the slums of Mexico City across the US perhaps? Since we have been living through the beginning of this a good portion of our lives already as we grew up with manual typewriters and rotary dial telephones…and I still drive stick shifts (better in snow)!

Another thought; I’ve been reading a few good science fiction writers between the heavier reading I do (just to lighten up!) and this popped up in a old Sheffield novel (paraphrased): …both sides of the Asteroid Belt and Earth War realized that it was probably a good idea to build AI self-replicating von Nuemann machines with far less intelligence after 2/3s of Earth’s population disappeared… The same could be said for jobs that humans can do now, eh? Maybe the Luddites of the 19th Century saw the future?

sealintheSelkirks

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Avatar retired botanist January 31, 2021 at 4:25 pm

Seal- no real segue here, other than what’s your LinkedIn handle? I guess not Boardwarm?
My heart aches for your friend, job searching, its really quite a demoralizing exercise for so many right now, either needing to change industries, or venues. While I don’t hold a lot of hope that the country will magically change with Biden; heck it wouldn’t have magically changed with Bernie, either, I was pretty heartened with the emphasis Kerry et al placed on alternative energy job creation with climate crisis re-engagement. I got so sick of hearing the fossils say that jobs would globally disappear forever if we give up fossil fuel extraction, that Kerry’s statements (and Gina McCarthy’s) were at least a fillup of hope that people would begin to understand that pursuit in this direction CAN creation thousands of new jobs.
I’m also hoping that GOP will finally be shamed into passing the re-introduced legislation for a minimum wage of $15, which has not been adjusted since 2009…11 years! That is SCANDALOUS when Congress gets a COLA every single year. Not that folks can pay rent/mortgage these days on even $15/hr, but surely this issue is such a huge blot in the Govt copybook it can’t be ignored any longer. Of course, doesn’t really help the unemployed who have zero $/hr right now but…. we look for change where we can endorse it.

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sealintheSelkirks sealintheSelkirks February 1, 2021 at 12:16 pm

In Amsterdam where the Dutch East India Company was spawned by Capitalism and sold ‘shares’ of same in 1602, they have replaced Capitalism with the ‘Doughnut Economy’ model mainly due to the Pandemic and their realization that Capitalism doesn’t, and can’t, work now. Infinite growth using up every single natural resource on a limited finite planet with nowhere else to go? About time somebody got that concept (obviously not happening in the San Diego government as LET’S BUILD MIDWAY! screams the ignorant and/or insane who will get ever richer from it. Just because you’re wealthy does not mean you are intelligent has always been my thought. Greedy, clever, well-connected, yes, but not really intelligent.

A quote from the article:

“After all, the virus has exposed the utter fragility, vast inequity, and incongruity of the engulfing neoliberal machine as conceived under the auspices of Reaganism/Thatcherism over four decades ago. Nowadays, its results are aptly summarized by the universally accepted epithet “The One Percent.”

It’s a member-only extra read link that is temporary so posting it here probably won’t work as it will cancel when I disconnect. But I’ll send a copy of the article to you and the diagram by email.

And I agree, $15 an hour is a joke when just the rent is $2000 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment! But something popped up in Congress the other day that said they’ll push for it to happen…in 2025. I mean, really? As you said the wealthy Congresscritters who get a base pay of $175,000 a year get cost-of-living increases every damned year. But not the people who clean the critters toilets or empty their office trashcans or deliver their lunches…they don’t ‘deserve’ better pay I guess?

Of course they can ignore it. They ALL become a member of the 1% due to their incomes. AOC is now a member of the 1% even though she still seems to be railing against the status quo (good for her!), but that’s what $175,000 a year is! A ticket to the club that George Carlin so artfully said we are not invited to…unless you get elected. Then you are automatically enrolled. But compared to Jeff Bezos’ $10,000,000,000 a month income since last February it’s literally pocket change…

And no, I don’t expect much to magically change with any politician who gets through the neoliberal candidacy gauntlet but even Bernie who was NOT a Socialist couldn’t get through it so…yeah, it is what it is, eh?
_____

As for LinkedIn, it was a way to keep in touch with concert folk two decades ago so it’s under my name not the Boardwarm Shop or sealintheSelkirks though it has morphed a bit towards the shop since then.

I’ll send you the email later tonight when I get back. I’m about to leave for my weekly journey for mail etc into the Covid Zone of Chewelah Washington where so many still think it’s all a hoax and don’t wear masks because they make them a sissy… A year after this disease hit and so many still don’t get it…

sealintheSelkirks

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