The governor is urging California lawmakers to extend the statewide eviction protections provided under the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act.

Without action, the protections will expire Jan. 31, five months after they passed the Legislature as AB 3088.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he and legislative leaders have committed to keeping the eviction moratorium in effect.

Gov. Gavin Newsom

“Yes, we will get a deal done to extend these renter-and-eviction protections,” Newsom said during a press conference. “It’s foundational, it’s fundamental.”

Under AB 3088, tenants who declare COVID-related hardships have until the end of this month to pay at least 25% of back rent accrued since Sept. 1, 2020. Tenants who miss the payment deadline can face eviction beginning Feb. 1.

An extension or replacement of AB 3088 would push back that deadline and continue to prevent evictions for nonpayment when the pandemic is to blame.

Since AB 3088 passed with bipartisan support in August, COVID-19 infections have surged in California and across the nation. Stay-at-home orders and business closures followed, exacerbating the financial troubles for many Californians.

Given these hardships, CAA will continue to work with the governor and Legislature to craft temporary policies that keep tenants in their homes but also compensate landlords for the housing they are required to provide to renters affected by the pandemic.

An extension of the eviction moratorium, regardless of its duration, must include reimbursements for landlords who have provided housing with zero-to-little compensation under tenant protections tied to the coronavirus, said Debra Carlton, CAA’s executive vice president of state public affairs. 

State eviction protections must also apply uniformly across California, Carlton said.

Debra Carlton

“Allowing cities and counties to customize state policies for their own jurisdictions would lead to a hodgepodge of ordinances, making them difficult for the courts to reconcile and implement,” she said.

Last month, lawmakers introduced two bills that would keep COVID-19 eviction protections in place beyond the Jan. 31 expiration date for AB 3088.

One proposal, Assembly Bill 15 by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, would extend the eviction protections under AB 3088 until the end of next year.

The other proposal, Senate Bill 3, comes from Sens. Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, and Steven Bradford, D-Gardena. This legislation would extend AB 3088 through March 2021.