Groups push to suspend of all evictions throughout California

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A number of groups are now demanding that Gov. Gavin Newsom immediately suspend all evictions in California, regardless of the reason for terminating the tenancy.

Organizations including the ACLU and the Western Center on Law & Poverty say Newsom didn’t go far enough in an executive order on eviction protections and COVID-19.

That order, issued Monday, made clear that local governments can impose eviction protections for tenants who are unable to pay their rent because of the coronavirus or loss of income as a result of the outbreak.

In a joint statement, the ACLU, Western Center and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights said Newsom should not have left decisions on tenant protections up to cities and counties. Moreover, they object to limiting eviction protections to people unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 related hardships.

“We believe a stronger and more straightforward approach would be to enact immediate statewide protections that postpone any eviction, regardless of the basis, to protect vulnerable tenants and the public, and avoid the need to pass local policies in all of California’s cities and counties,” the statement says.

On Thursday, the Alliance of Californians for Community, a group that supports radical forms of rent control, said Newsom’s order “shamefully’ passes the duty to protect tenants to local jurisdictions.

ACCE also demanded a blanket statewide moratorium that would ban evictions for any reason. Unlike many city-ordered moratoria, which stipulate that landlords must ultimately be compensated for unpaid rent, ACCE is demanding a permanent waiver.

“Rent and mortgage payments must be frozen for as long as people are not able to work because of COVID-19, and any rent and mortgage debt accumulated during this period must be forgiven,” the group says.

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