Call on Governor Newsom to Protect Families from Further Homelessness During COVID-19 Outbreak!
READ OUR LETTER TO GOVERNOR NEWSOM- 3/20/20
Californians know how to take care of each other. In moments of crisis, Californians know how to pull together. Whether helping our neighbors during an earthquake or opening our homes during a wildfire, we show up for one another. We know that our families and neighborhoods are stronger, safer and healthier when we show up and represent for one another in moments of illness and crisis.
No matter what we look like, where we live or what's in our wallets, getting sick reminds us that we're all human. But today, due to the lack of preparation by the Trump administration, most of us do not have access to the testing, vaccines and treatment we need to get and stay well. We must stand with and for each other, against anything used to divide us, to demand the care and paid time everyone of us needs, no exceptions. Only by standing united can we rewrite the rules to ensure better health for us all.
In light of this public health crisis, when it’s imperative that families be stably housed, we call on the Governor to enact the following measures:
- An Immediate Moratorium on Rent Increases, Evictions and Foreclosures - The need to protect residents that live paycheck to paycheck from the economic fallout of this virus includes protecting them against facing price gouging, eviction and homelessness. Rent increases, even minimal ones, during this time is tantamount to price gouging given the potential for lost wages, and would make tenants more vulnerable to evictions. Eviction would only further spread this disease and make its containment harder because people would not have a home to care for the health, safety and welfare of their families. In addition, forcing tenants to defend themselves in crowded eviction courts at this time is directly at odds with government guidance emphasizing the critical importance of social distancing to contain the spread of the virus.
- Immediate End to Displacing Unhoused Encampments - We must put an end to the enforcement/displacement actions against encampments of the unhoused during this crisis
- Emergency Rental or Mortgage Assistance - We must provide support for workers who have to forgo work for no fault of their own due to the coronavirus outbreak. Government should step in by providing emergency rental or mortgage assistance to “backfill” a substantial share of any income lost to any worker during this crisis, regardless of classification as an employee or contractor. This also encourages workers to stay home when sick rather than risking spread of the virus by continuing to work to prevent income loss. We suggest this is done via a sliding scale so that these resources are equitably distributed.
- Prevent Utility Shut-Offs and Halt Fees - Widespread loss of income will also likely cause increased numbers of people to fall behind on bills and risk having their water, gas, electricity, and other basic utility services shut-off. All public and private utilities doing business in the state should halt all utility shut-offs and halt related fees during this crisis.