After a prolonged period that created uncertainty for Californians unable to pay their rent, financial relief for those unable to make their rent payments received much-needed good news. Gov. Gavin Newsome and the state Legislature extended the moratorium on evictions to keep roofs over the heads of countless residents
The state’s ban on evictions would have expired on June 30th. A last-minute deal extended protections for three months, ending on September 30th. A longer amount of time allows the government to distribute $5.2 billion in federal relief to both tenants and landlords.
However, the entire time an eviction ban has been in place did not provide the safety net tenants were expecting. Evictions of non-paying tenants continued. To date, thousands of renters are still locked out of their homes.
Thousands of renters displaced
Data from 56 of 58 counties reveals that during the pandemic – specifically July 2020 to March 2021 – sheriff’s departments evicted nearly 7,700 renters. The first three months of this year alone accounted for 3,675 residential evictions. Removals were exceptionally high in the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and Los Angeles County.
The total number of evictions is estimated to be anywhere from 9,000 to 10,000 at a minimum.
The state bears some of the responsibility as their government bureaucracy only made a bad situation worse. At the halfway point of 2021, 6,600 received $73 million. Still, 94,000 tenants are waiting for financial help to the tune of over $775 million.
Government-mandated protections combined with multi-millions of dollars in relief have done little to soothe the fears of renters throughout California. Many remain unemployed and unable to make their monthly rent payments. The “slow-roll” of disbursing funds continues as state residents wonder if a knock on their doors will result in eviction notices.