City Council puts stop on evictions during coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 1:38 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 16:38:10-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — City Council leaders Wednesday approved a plan for an emergency moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The emergency law halts evictions within the City of San Diego until May 31, 2020, but tenants must show a substantial decrease in income or medical expenses caused by COVID-19 in order to qualify.

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If a tenant is not able to demonstrate they've been financially hit by COVID-19 within a specified time frame, a landlord can pursue an eviction. Any tenants who decide to move out during the emergency ordinance are also responsible for paying all rent due.

“San Diegans shouldn’t have to worry about losing their home or storefront during this public health emergency, and now relief is here,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “The temporary eviction moratorium is accompanied by millions of dollars to help small businesses stay afloat and keep San Diegans employed."

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The order will not stop a landlord from recovering rent at a future time or erase a tenant's requirement to pay rent.

San Diego's emergency ordinance also assigns city staff to work with banks and lenders to stop mortgage payments or foreclosures for people or landlords who have suffered loss of wages or income due to the coronavirus crisis.

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Council leaders also approved Mayor Faulconer's plan for a Small Business Relief Fund, which already grown to about $6 million since it was introduced last week.

The fund will help small businesses keep operating, retain employees, and address financial issues due to COVID-19, ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 in help. Eligible businesses must:

  • Employ less than 100 Full-Time Equivalent employees
  • Have a City of San Diego Business Tax Certificate
  • Provide documentation that shows the business has been operational for at least 6 months
  • Provide proof of economic hardship due to COVID-19
  • Not have engaged in any illegal activity per local, state or federal regulations

“I want to thank my Council colleagues and the Mayor for standing with me and making sure no one loses their home in the middle of a public health emergency and growing economic crisis,” Council President Georgette Gómez said. “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.”