Update: CAA financial-relief bill heads to Senate floor (May 20)

The Senate Appropriations Committee next week will consider CAA-sponsored legislation that would offer financial relief to landlords who have been deprived of funds from COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program (ERAP).

The hearing, scheduled for May 16, comes after SB 847 by Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Sanger, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 9-1 vote.

Sen. Melissa Hurtado

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The bill would provide state dollars to rental owners who’ve gone without rent and whose tenants either won’t cooperate in the ERAP application process or don’t qualify for the assistance. While the bill would provide funding for all affected owners, it would prioritize small owners to receive those dollars first.

Under California’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium, tenants who failed to pay their rent were protected from eviction if they claimed a pandemic-related financial hardship. Many landlords have since learned that their nonpaying tenants continued to work or otherwise earn an income during the pandemic and don’t qualify for rental assistance.

Should SB 847 become law, landlords will need to provide evidence that they applied for help through ERAP and did not receive funding or have a civil judgment against the tenant who has not paid, or both.

If SB 847 passes the Appropriations Committee, it will head to the Senate floor.