Alameda County landlords are still owed significant amounts of back rent that accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey conducted by the California Apartment Association shows.

On average, the-nearly 100 survey respondents reported being owed $210,000 each. Collectively, the survey participants reported being owed over $21 million. And because of Alameda County’s ongoing eviction moratorium, these housing providers have little to no recourse.

“Given that not every Alameda County landlord took the survey, the $20 million figure is likely the tip of the iceberg,” said Joshua Howard, CAA’s executive vice president of local public affairs. “This is a wakeup call to the Board of Supervisors. The law they crated and continue to leave in place is only creating more problems for local housing providers.”

Joshua Howard

Howard said CAA conducted the survey to gauge the continued struggles of Alameda County housing providers nearly three years after the county instituted the strictest pandemic-related eviction rules in California. Alameda County is one of the only counties in the state with its COVID eviction moratorium still in place. Last year, CAA sued Alameda County, alleging its eviction moratorium is unconstitutional. Just this week, CAA sought an appeal of an early, unfavorable ruling in the case. Howard said the survey also points to the failure of government rental assistance programs to compensate landlords for rental arrears.

“While rental assistance offered some relief, many rental housing providers are still awaiting payment, or they’ve been left out of the system entirely because their tenants have either refused to cooperate or don’t qualify for help,” Howard said. “Supervisors must end policies that encourage tenants to forgo their rental payments without consequence.”

On Jan. 10, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss Supervisor David Haubert’s request to hold a hearing on the eviction moratorium at an upcoming meeting. Local housing providers are encouraged to testify at this meeting about their struggles with the eviction moratorium and the rent debt they’re still owed.

Still haven’t taken CAA’s survey? Click here.