The state approved an extension to its eviction moratorium by passing SB 91, a budget trailer bill on Thursday, January 28th.
The bill extends the pre-existing AB 3088 eviction protections through June 30, 2021. Beginning July 1, 2021, landlords can proceed with evictions for non-payment of rent, regardless of COVID impact.
The bill also establishes a $1.5 billion State Rental Assistance Program, with federal assistance funds:
Block grants will be made to local governments with a population of 200,000+; $150 million set-aside for smaller counties.
The priority use of this funds is for rental arrears, which will be distributed directly to landlords on behalf of eligible households and can cover up to 80% of unpaid rent from April 2020 - March 2021. Landlords must agree to forgive remaining 20% of back rent and agree to not pursue evictions or attempt to recover the unpaid debt if they agree to accept funds.
If landlords refuse to participate, eligible households can receive assistance to cover up to 25% of their unpaid rent from April 2020 - March 2021. Tenants may also receive assistance for up to 25% of prospective payments.
Funding will be prioritized for households that meet federal rent relief. eligibility requirements – with expressed priority for eligible households at 50% AMI or below.
If landlords pursue civil action – they must attest to good faith efforts to obtain or assist in obtaining state rental assistance for eligible tenants. Courts may reduce damages if the landlords opts to not participate in the rental assistance program and the household is eligible.
For more information on your or your client's rights as a tenant, please visit StayHousedLA.org.