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San Diego City Council President To Propose Extending Rent Payment Period

The official seal for the city of San Diego appears on a door to City Hall in...

Photo by Angela Carone

Above: The official seal for the city of San Diego appears on a door to City Hall in this undated photo.

UPDATE: 3:55 p.m., July 27, 2020

San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez Tuesday will propose extending until March the deadline for residents to make up rent payments missed due to economic hardship brought on by the coronavirus.

Gomez will ask for council support at Tuesday's scheduled council meeting to extend the rent-payment deadline until March 31, according to a statement from her office.

The city has an eviction moratorium in place until Sept. 30, prohibiting landlords from evicting renters and small businesses that are unable to cover their rent or lease payments due to the pandemic. The moratorium does not forgive all rent, but gives tenants additional time to pay it.

The current payment deadline is Sept. 25.

Gomez said that amid rising unemployment and the expiration of the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit, San Diegans should be given more leeway to make their rental payments.

"When we passed the eviction moratorium in March, I hoped that six months would be enough for renters and small businesses to recover from the economic effects of COVID-19, or that our federal government would provide sufficient relief," Gomez said. "Unfortunately, the pandemic is not subsiding, unemployment remains high, many businesses are still struggling, and the federal government's response has been woefully inadequate. It is absolutely critical that we give San Diegans more time."

San Diego's eviction moratorium has been extended twice since the beginning of the pandemic. The latest extension was approved last month by a 5- 4 council vote.

The city council has also approved $15.1 million in relief for renters, as well as nearly $19 million in relief for small businesses.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Gomez was proposing to extend the moratorium on evictions. KPBS regrets the error.

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