Housing insecurity and effective COVID relief
Webinar presented by ACLU SoCal Economic Justice Committee
Wednesday June 2, 2021, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Zoom recording: https://bit.ly/3ujmj5K
According to the Eviction Defense Network, approximately 500,000 Los Angeles County tenants are currently behind on their rent. Unless our representatives are convinced to change the current law by June 31, 2021, these tenants will be evicted. Find out how you can save your neighbors’ home.
Francisco Dueñas, Managing Director of Housing Now!
Shanti singh, Legislative Director of Tenants Together
Gary Rhoades, Deputy District Attorney for the City of Santa Monica
Michelle white, Moderator, ACLU SoCal Pasadena / Foothills Chapter
For the second time in months, California tenants are facing a tsunami of eviction caused by their loss of income during the pandemic. The Eviction Defense Network estimates that 500,000 renter households in Los Angeles County are behind on their rent and will soon be subject to eviction. In response, the California and federal governments have passed complex sets of protections designed to help low-income tenants, including a moratorium on evictions based on unpaid rents linked to Covid until June 31, 2021.
Tenants have struggled to respond to the imminent possibility of eviction during this time. Many tenants pay the minimum required by law – at least 25% of the rent they owe between April 1, 2020 and June 31, 2021. Others use savings and credit cards to stay housed; some take out expensive payday loans. In many communities, the impacts disproportionately affect households of color, as a much higher percentage of African Americans and Latinos are renters.
If tenants who pay at least 25% of their rent cannot be evicted during this period, their unpaid rents are not forgiven. Tenants just have more time to pay off their debt and avoid eviction. However, landlords can sue tenants in small claims courts to convert past due rent debts into judgments.
Conversely, many homeowners who have been affected by their tenants’ inability to pay have the option of extending their mortgage. Additionally, landlords can accept 80% of the amount of rent owed by tenants, if they are willing to give up the remaining 20%. There is currently no option available for the government to pay 80% of renters’ rents and tenants to pay the remaining 20% - an alternative that would be manageable for many.
Unless the federal and state governments adopt permanent solutions to the current situation, tenants will become even more unstable. The June 2, 2021 forum is designed to address these issues so citizen advocates can make their voices heard in Sacramento and City Hall.
Please join us in ensuring that low income tenants, especially households of color, are not displaced from their communities.
Cosponsors: LA Progressive, ACLU SoCal Pasadena / Foothills Chapter, Occidental College Critical Theory & Social Justice Department….
Questions: Dick Price [email protected]