San Rafael, CA – After more than two months of its shelter-in-place public health order because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marin County plans to add another month onto its moratorium on residential evictions.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors plans to consider a resolution May 26 that would prevent residents from being evicted because of a sudden loss of income tied to the pandemic through June 30. Renters would have up to 90 days after the expiration of the resolution to repay back rent. A landlord would be able to seek payment of unpaid rent after the expiration of the local emergency.
The original moratorium was put in place by a March 24 Board resolution. The Board amended its resolution April 28 to align County policy with state policy, clarified definitions, and set the expiration date to May 31.
According to the Marin Community Development Agency, the goal of the moratorium extension is to provide temporary protection to reduce the widespread economic ramifications of the public health emergency. Under the proposal, if a residential tenant has not made a timely rent payment that was payable between March 24 and June 30, the landlord cannot evict if the tenant provides notice within 30 days after the rent was due that the tenant is unable to pay because of financial impacts related to COVID-19.
On March 18, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to implement an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.
The pandemic continues to cause serious negative impacts on the Marin economy and to residents despite the beginnings of a return to normalcy. Some business owners are taking steps toward reopening, following the guidelines laid out on MarinRecovers.com.
Marin’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing – even under normal circumstances – leaves many lower-paid workers at high risk for homelessness, and in turn, less equipped to mitigate the risks associated with the virus. With matching support from the Marin Community Foundation, the County committed $1 million to a safety-net fund to assist the most financially vulnerable residents and prevent homelessness.
The two partners have also appealed to the community for additional donations which can be directed toward rental assistance for low-income residents. Through the COVID-19 Fund of MCF, contributions can be earmarked for emergency rental assistance and will be leveraged for food distribution and specialized services for older adults and people with disabilities.