Written by Michael Palomba
On Wednesday, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to enact a temporary moratorium on evictions of both residents and businesses.
A Small Business Relief Fund was also established to support local businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund will be created by repurposing around $4 million in existing grant funding.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer is also strongly behind the effort to help residents and businesses during this tough time.
“As jobs disappear, rent payments do not, so we’re taking action to help San Diegans in need during the COVID-19 emergency,” Mayor Faulconer said. “That’s why we as a city are working diligently to provide relief to our residents and businesses who are complying with public health mandates and staying home or suspending their operations. This involves tenants, landlords and lenders, so in partnership with my City Council colleagues and the City Attorney, we will develop an ordinance that recognizes we are all in this together.”
This is an emergency law and it will last in San Diego until May 31. Residents will need to demonstrate “a substantial decrease in income or medical expenses,” as a result of coronavirus to qualify. Tenants will still be responsible for rent payments and landlords are not restricted from recovering rent in the future.
“San Diegans shouldn’t have to worry about losing their home or storefront during this public health emergency, and now relief is here,” Faulconer said. “The temporary eviction moratorium is accompanied by millions of dollars to help small businesses stay afloat and keep San Diegans employed. I applaud the city council, city attorney and city staff for taking quick action to help our community.”
City Councilmember Georgette Gomez also made a statement after announcing the measure, “Most of our small businesses have been forced to close, and countless San Diegans are losing work and income as we try to slow the spread of the virus. Today, we let struggling residents and small businesses owners know that we have their back.”