California has extended its ban on evictions for unpaid rent through the end of September and will also pay off all back rent for eligible tenants under a deal announced Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The statewide eviction ban was scheduled to expire on Wednesday of next week, but the deal announced by Newsom and state legislative leaders will extend it through Sept. 30. California banned evictions shortly after the state ordered most businesses to close in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"California is investing $5.2 billion to cover ALL the unpaid rent for lower-income Californians who struggled during the pandemic," Newsom wrote on Twitter. "This is the largest rent relief package America has ever seen. California is ROARING back -- and leaving no one behind."
To qualify for the back rent pay off, tenants must pay at least 25% of what they owe their landlords by Sept. 30 and sign a declaration that they experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic. Landlords can also receive up to 80% of any missing rent accrued between April 2020 and March 2021, so long as they agree they will not evict tenants who are late on rent.
"Our housing situation in California was a crisis before COVID, and the pandemic has only made it worse — this extension is key to making sure that more people don't lose the safety net helping them keep their home," said Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, (D - San Diego). "While our state may be emerging from the pandemic, in many ways, the lingering financial impact still weighs heavily on California families."
Thousands of Californians say they're still waiting to hear whether they'll receive COVID-19 rent relief from the government after a statewide program was setup in January.
The agreement between Newsom and the state Senate and Assembly make it likely the bill will be voted on as soon as Monday.