For Immediate ReleaseJune 03, 2021
Residents in unincorporated areas would receive protection through September
JUNE 8 UPDATE: The Board approved the urgency ordinance to continue barring evictions.
San Rafael, CA – The pandemic might be winding down in some respects, but housing displacement is still a considerable concern in Marin County as impacts from the COVID-19 public health emergency linger. On June 8, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will consider adopting an urgency ordinance that continues to bar residential evictions in unincorporated areas of Marin through September 30 for people economically impacted by and during the coronavirus.
The proposal would extend protections from January 2021 that are due to expire June 30. Should it receive support, the urgency ordinance would follow a tradition dating to the first local eviction moratorium the Board installed in March 2020. Federal, state, and local protections for residents have helped prevent a proliferation of homelessness since then.
Planners from the Marin County Community Development Agency (CDA) worked with the Board’s Housing Subcommittee – Board President Dennis Rodoni and Supervisor Damon Connolly – to create updated language that prevents evictions for nonpayment of rent from tenants affected by virus-related losses of income. Unlike previous actions, the urgency ordinance applies only in the unincorporated areas of the county; some local cities and towns are considering similar actions.
The County has received more than $26 million in emergency rental assistance from federal and state sources throughout the pandemic. An online application period is open for Marin renters and landlords who have experienced economic hardship during COVID-19. Funds will be channeled directly to landlords to cover past and rent and utilities.
The need for more support is still strong, however. More than 1,200 local households are waiting for additional assistance. Of those applicants, there is disproportionate representation of the African American and Latinx populations. More than two-thirds of Marin residents who are people of color are renters.
The extension of the eviction moratorium would provide the County and its partners time to review applications and issues payments to insure stability for local renters and landlords.
Marin’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing – even under non-pandemic circumstances – leaves many lower-paid workers at high risk for homelessness, and in turn, less equipped to mitigate the risks associated with the virus.
“It is a County priority that these funds are distributed in an equitable manner, ensuring that those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are served with dignity, respect, and compassion,” said Leelee Thomas, CDA Planning Manager. “Those most in need of pandemic-related rental assistance are often those for whom barriers to access such an emergency relief program are the highest, so we’re working to eliminate those barriers.”
More documents and information for renters and landlords related to the eviction moratorium can be found on the County’s Renter and Landlord Resources webpage.
Leelee ThomasDeputy Director, Housing and Federal Grants DivisionCommunity Development Agency
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 308San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6697Email: Leelee ThomasAffordable Housing webpage