California’s Latest Eviction Moratorium Bill: What San Diego Tenants Need to Know

Protesters call for support for tenants and homeowners at risk of eviction during a demonstration on Oct. 11 in Boston. A federal moratorium on evictions is set to expire at the end of December.

Matthew Bowler / KPBS

Vanessa Houston (right) and her mother, Frances Houston, hold up the termination of lease letter they received in August telling them they have to vacate their apartment in 60 days, Sept. 2, 2021.

According to KBPS, there is a race among lawmakers to extend emergency statewide eviction protections that are set to expire on Thursday, March 31.

California bill AB 2179 was approved by the state assembly earlier this week, and the Senate is expected to approve it on Thursday. By passing the bill, eviction protections would be extended through June.

To qualify for rental relief, renters must apply latest by Thursday March 31.

“That has been a major concern for us is that the relatively short time period to get the word out, and some tenants are going to fall through the cracks unfortunately. And there’s no mechanism for them to apply after the fact,” Gil Vera, a housing attorney with Legal Aid Society of San Diego, said.

On Wednesday, Vera spoke to Midday Edition about what local renters need to know as the deadline for the program approaches.

“In order to be protected you only have to have a pending application for rental assistance. The application doesn’t have to be approved, it just has to be at least in a pending stage,” Vera said.

The ongoing housing crisis in San Diego persists despite the waning pandemic emergency for many.

Since July of 2021, Vera said no-fault evictions are the number one issue tenants in the city and county of San Diego are calling the Legal Aid Society for assistance with.

According to the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, just over 275,600 California renters had applications pending as of last week. Local rental assistance programs aren’t included in that number.

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