SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to extend a moratorium on evictions for both residents and small businesses for another month, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, along with board Chairman Greg Cox, made the request, which was unanimously approved. The board first approved an eviction moratorium in late March.
"By extending the moratorium, we are giving families and business owners another tool to assist in their recovery from the pandemic," Fletcher said. "The Board of Supervisors did the right thing today."
Cox said: "This is not an effort to provide free rent. It's really an encouragement for tenants, landlords, to work together on a payment plan."
Fletcher added that people who qualify for the moratorium have to prove economic hardship caused by the pandemic.
Supervisor Kristin Gaspar said the San Diego Association of Realtors recently sent letter to the county and city of San Diego in support of a rental assistance program.
Gaspar asked Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer if the county can create its own rental assistance program, saying property owners use the rental payments they receive to meet their own bills and employ others.
"I don't think any of us imaged this pandemic would go on so long," she said. "I think ignoring one entire population and favoring the other isn't exactly the right thing to do at this point."
It could be months, she added, before property owners could receive any rent payments.
During the public comment period, David Garcias, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 221, said the pandemic-related economic crisis "shows no signs of coming to an end, (and) we believe you should extend protections to citizens."