FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Francisco Dueñas, Executive Director, Housing Now!, [email protected] (habla español)
September 24, 2021
Nearly 100 Housing, Social Justice and Community Groups Sign Onto Letter Calling on the California Governor & Legislature to Extend the State’s Eviction Moratorium
Advocates Say Existing Racial and Economic Inequities Will Be Exacerbated if Moratorium Is Allowed to Lapse Before All Federal Rent Assistance Is Distributed
CALIFORNIA - Sounding the alarm that the California is headed for a disastrous eviction cliff after Sept. 30, a coalition of nearly 100 housing, social justice and community groups are signing onto an open letter to Governor Newsom and the state Legislature calling on California to immediately extend the state’s eviction moratorium. The groups, made up of organizations who primarily serve Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander, and low-income communities, warn in the letter that low-income and renters of color will be disproportionately harmed if the moratorium is lifted before the state has a chance to distribute all of the $5.2 billion in federal funds to be allocated to renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID pandemic has caused widespread devastation across California and the nation, with millions of low-wage workers losing their jobs and many more succumbing to and suffering from the disease. This public health and economic crisis has hit low-income and residents of color especially hard, with workers who were unemployed during the pandemic six times more likely to have rent debt, advocates say. Over 724,000 renter households in California are behind on rent, according to the National Equity Atlas. For these reasons, the coalition is urging the California’s state elected leaders to act now to extend the moratorium and protect California residents who were already financially burdened before the pandemic began.
“Left unaddressed, widespread evictions and unresolved debt will increase the already unconscionable racial wealth divide and exacerbate the public health, economic, and social costs evictions pose to families and communities,” the letter states. “Extending these protections will give the state and local governments time to successfully roll out the rental assistance program, which will protect both renters and landlords from further impacts of the ongoing public health and economic crises we face.”