On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-71-20 into law, effectively extending statewide eviction moratoriums until September 30th.
The order will also extend many other coronavirus pandemic-related measures by 60 days, such as people receiving marriage licenses through digital means instead of visiting an office in-person, renewing driver’s licenses and ID cards through the mail, and waiving county measures in enrolling people in CalWORKs. Medi-Cal redetermination will also remain suspended under the order, as will some in-home care attendee standards and foster care limits.
Government office reappointments by the Governor will also now have until the end of October to remain in office without a Senate confirmation.
The executive order was written largely to help maintain a lifeline for many people as coronavirus cases continue to rise in California and reopenings across the state being delayed. The order also aims at reducing homelessness by way of extending the eviction moratorium, reducing the spread of COVID-19 while also continuing important services, and extends measures to help keep people at home and healthy.
“If we allowed eviction moratoriums to end at the end of July, California could have been facing a mass homelessness crisis, way bigger than now,” explained homeless counselor Jane McCutchen. “We’re already seeing many continue to move out anyway because, despite the moratorium, people without jobs can’t afford many other expenses. I’ve talked with many people who have become homeless this way.
Without eviction protection, that would mean at least 10,000 more in California.”
Eviction protection is also forcing many to be unable to move into purchased houses, as the old tenant can still live there legally.
“It will now stay like this until the end of September, at least,” said Charles Stocker, a lawyer specializing in real estate law. “It’s protecting many people at the same time it’s screwing them over.
Landlords have been calling me on what they can do to collect money because they themselves are on the brink, and there’s not much I can say to them.
I mean, Newsom’s executive order. Mostly it’s fine. Renewing through Skype or by mail. That’s fine. It’s this moratorium that is going to cause a lot of damage. I mean, we stop evictions and all of this payment to landlords, and we’re going to see entire apartment complexes or for rent homes go under. And that’s a scary situation. A few families unable to pay rent or be kicked out for paying people may now doom dozens.
Compassion is needed, but we also need common sense fiscal responsibility.
This executive order takes a side in it instead of trying to help all parties out. And it will end up hurting everyone.”
Newsom’s executive order was active immediately after being signed Tuesday. Further extensions past September 30th will remain possible should the number of coronavirus cases remain high.