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What San Diego renters need to know about California's latest eviction moratorium bill

Protesters call for support for tenants and homeowners at risk of eviction during a demonstration on Oct. 11 in Boston. A federal moratorium on evictions is set to expire at the end of December.
Matthew Bowler / KPBS
Vanessa Houston (right) and her mother, Frances Houston, hold up the termination of lease letter they received in August telling them they have to vacate their apartment in 60 days, Sept. 2, 2021.

California state lawmakers are racing to extend emergency statewide eviction protections that are set to expire on Thursday March 31.

California bill AB 2179 passed overwhelmingly in the state assembly earlier this week, and is expected to be passed in the Senate by Thursday. If passed, the bill would extend protections for tenants facing eviction through June of this year.

Renters, however, need to apply for rental relief by Thursday March 31 to be eligible.


"That has been a major concern for us is that the relatively short time period to get the word out, and some tenants are going to fall through the cracks unfortunately. And there's no mechanism for them to apply after the fact," said Gil Vera, a housing attorney with Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

Vera joined Midday Edition Wednesday to talk about what local renters need to know as the program's deadline approaches.

RELATED: Tenants' rights group calls for extension of California rental assistance program

"In order to be protected you only have to have a pending application for rental assistance. The application doesn't have to be approved, it just has to be at least in a pending stage," Vera said.

He noted that although the pandemic emergency is waning for many, the ongoing housing crisis in San Diego persists.


Vera said since July of 2021 no-fault evictions is the number one issue that tenants in both the city and county of San Diego city are calling the Legal Aid Society for help.

As of last week, just over 275,600 California renters had applications still pending, according to the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. That number doesn't include local rental assistance programs.