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California extends eviction ban, reimburses rent for tenants



SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California will ban evictions for unpaid rent until the end of September and reimburse all rent arrears from eligible tenants under a deal announced Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders.

California banned evictions after Newsom imposed the country’s first statewide shutdown in March 2020 and ordered most businesses to close and people to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus .

These protections are expected to expire on Wednesday. The new agreement will extend the moratorium on evictions until September 30.

To be eligible for the $ 5.2 billion provided by the federal government to California for this effort, tenants must pay at least 25% of what they owe by September 30, sign a declaration that they have struggled economically due to COVID-19 and must earn 80% or less of the region’s median income.

“Our California housing situation was a crisis before COVID, and the pandemic has only made it worse – this extension is critical to ensure more people don’t lose the safety net that helps them keep their home, ”said Pro Tempore Senate Speaker Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego. “While our state may be emerging from the pandemic, in many ways the lingering financial impact still weighs heavily on California families.”

Newsom, who will face a recall election later this year fueled by criticism of his handling of the pandemic, said in a press release that he was grateful for the legislative proposal, “which I look forward to signing soon. that I will receive it. “

California has some of the country’s most expensive affordable rents and a housing shortage. About 25% of California renters pay at least half of their income on housing costs, a figure that includes rent and utilities, according to the California Department of Finance.