Will CA Stop Scourge of Ellis Act Evictions?
With yet another COVID-19 surge afoot and new shelter in place orders declared, groups across the nation are taking action to prolong eviction protections. The pandemic has already exacerbated our housing crisis here in California and across the United States, and millions of Americans are entering the new year over $5000 behind on rent. With the current federal eviction moratorium expiring on January 31 it is absolutely vital that legislators take action to extend the moratorium and strengthen protections to cancel rents, mortgages, and debts.
Without federal intervention, up to 30-40 million renters in the U.S. could lose their homes.
On June 13 the Right to the City Alliance along with their coalition partners, including the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, Moms 4 Housing, and the Movement for Black Lives, will be amplifying the Housing is the Cure policy platform through a series of grassroots actions to push the Biden administration to take executive action preventing evictions. In Los Angeles, GroundGame LA will be holding a “Cancel Rent LA Tour” that will be streamed on Twitch. Meanwhile, organizers in Minneapolis, MN and Lexington, KY will be holding car rallies and organizers in Providence, RI will be hosting a dance parade.
This collective action spanning 14 states and 15 cities will be calling on President-Elect Biden and the incoming CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky to 1) extend and strengthen the eviction moratorium to end evictions and stop utility shut-offs; and 2) cancel all rent, mortgages, & debt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These asks outline a road to an equitable economic recovery by halting any evictions that may occur from inability to pay either monthly rent or future rent accrual. The Biden Administration’s response offers an early glimpse into federal tenants rights policy for the next four years.
California’s statewide eviction moratorium is also set to expire at the end of the month. Assemblymember David Chiu has introduced AB15 in order to extend the policy and the extension is also supported by Governor Newsom. However, this legislation does not cover Ellis Act evictions. As we expect the federal eviction moratorium to be extended in some shape or form, it is even more important that the California legislature enacts an even stronger moratorium that protects tenants from displacement under the Ellis Act. Attorneys with the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (publisher of Beyond Chron) currently represent over 250 individuals facing Ellis Act evictions. California must protect its tenants by including Ellis evictions in our statewide eviction moratorium.
Learn more about the Housing is the Cure event here.
Sarah Abdeshahian works for the Tenderloin Housing Clinic as a statewide organizer for housing and tenant issues.Filed under: Bay Area / California