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More Rent Relief Is On The Way For San Diego Tenants And Landlords

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Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Above: A "for rent" sign is pictured in San Diego, Sept. 17, 2020.

During a Monday press conference, Governor Gavin Newsom said that California renters and landlords should be expecting around $2 billion in relief funds, as part of the federal government’s latest coronavirus relief bill.

“We were all waiting with bated breath for something big and bold to happen to rental assistance. I’m not sure this is as big and bold as we hoped for, but it’s nonetheless significant,” Newsom said.

Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.

That money will eventually be funneled to governments at the county and city level. In San Diego, county officials told KPBS that rent relief programs from the first round of federal stimulus money are on pace to be entirely spent by their December 30th deadline.

The San Diego Emergency Rental Assistance Program has so far helped 4,000 households pay at least part of their rent. The county made those payments directly to landlords.

RELATED: New Data Shows Evictions Increasing During Pandemic

The county has yet to receive guidance on exactly how much it could expect out of this round. And while a limited statewide eviction moratorium is in place until the end of January, some San Diego residents are still being evicted in the midst of the pandemic. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said it assisted in 156 evictions through the end of November, with the number of evictions increasing from October to November.

Alan Pentico, the Executive Director of the Southern California Rental Housing Association, an advocacy group for landlords, says state legislators should focus on long-term solutions to the months and months of owed back rent.

“We don’t want to see people walk away with a twenty or thirty-thousand dollars in debt that’s got to be paid by someone eventually,” he said. “We’ve been addressing things in the short term, especially at the beginning, because every day there was some new policy and new rules, but right now, particularly with the vaccines coming out, we have a little bit more time to come up with something that will address things a little more long-term.”

Governor Newsom said he’s expecting to extend the limited eviction moratorium well into the new year.

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Photo of Max Rivlin-Nadler

Max Rivlin-Nadler
Speak City Heights Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover City Heights, a neighborhood at the intersection of immigration, gentrification, and neighborhood-led health care initiatives. I'm interested in how this unique neighborhood deals with economic inequality during an unprecedented global health crisis.

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