Written by Kayla White (News Writer)
Due to the stress of Coronavirus, the California rental industry has been pushed into financial relief. The outbreak has put a pause for rent and mortgage payments for those who are unable to pay. As soon as the outbreak comes to a halt, those who were not able to provide the money will have to make those payments even when coming out of unemployment.
Because of the impact of Coronavirus, the economy has begun to drop, causing renters to look into eviction protection and rental relief. Since so many people are unable to pay rent, numerous renters have joined small rental operations in California with their landlords. The California Rental Housing Association has come to the decision of asking Governor Gavin Newsom and the Federal Government to help with the rent crisis for about three months. They hope that Newsom and the legislature to improve the state budget so they can receive funds for rental assistance.
One landlord, Mike Werner, said that due to the lack of money that the tenants are receiving, the financial hit has been a big problem and will only get bigger the longer they are not working. He mentions that he has been given some slack from the bank that is giving homeowners a break on mortgage payments, but unit rental owners are not. Housing is a key component of the shelter-in-place strategy for small landlords. But these landlords depend on the income from the renters to provide the shelters that they provide.
Tenants are concerned with how they are going to be able to get the money they need after the repayment period is over, which was extended from six months to a whole year. In Los Angeles, tenants were paying more than 30% of their income toward rent, and due to the shutdown, evictions will be delayed, but not avoided. The housing department has suggested that if renters are not going to be able to pay rent to let their landlords know before the rent is due. The housing department has mentioned that they will prioritize evictions complaints and to stay at home while they investigate the complaint. The L.A. County Superior Court is not currently hearing eviction cases, but landlords can still file the paperwork in order to evict their tenants.
Renters have become financially stressed and have many questions about what steps they should take, but these answers are not easy to come by. So California has tried to help by creating a website (covid19.ca.gov) that offers some tips on what can be available for residents who are being financially affected by the Coronavirus. The website offers eligibility for unemployment insurance, paid family leave, and disability insurance. Gavin Newsom is working with county and city officials statewide and have enacted moratoriums on evictions and elicited support from the banks in order to help those who are struggling to pay rent and their mortgages.