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California's Pandemic-Related Eviction Moratorium to End Next Month

Governor Says Funding Needed to Address Disparities Causing Evictions

By Lou Hirsh CoStar News

August 13, 2020 | 4:03 P.M.

A state court panel voted to end on Sept. 1 the state's temporary eviction moratoriums that apartment property owners have opposed, a move that comes as California officials seek to address social equity disparities that have left the state’s Lantino and Black renters most vulnerable to being put out of their homes.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is pointing to state housing data indicating nearly three-quarters of Californians who have fallen behind on rent during the coronavirus pandemic are in two communities that were already hard hit economically before the pandemic: 62% are Latino and 9.5% are Black.

“When we talk about the issue of evictions, we need to consider this very jaw-dropping, pointed stat,” Newsom said at a news conference.

The pandemic is worsening a housing affordability problem in the state that was already burdensome for minority communities, making them more prone to evictions well before COVID-19 caused widespread job losses and economic hardships for apartment renters, small businesses and landlords. The state, which is home to roughly 40 million people, has some of the nation's highest residential rental rates, and that's contributed to the country's highest population of unhoused people, too, according to federal figures.

Landlords and opponents of moratorium extensions contend the bans are putting added financial pressure on property owners struggling to meet operating expenses and their own financial obligations to lenders. However, if the moratorium ends, landlords could resume the eviction process and unprotected renters across the state, particularly in communities of color, could be at risk of evictions and potential homelessness, which has state and local lawmakers scrambling to find solutions.

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