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City, State Extend Eviction Moratorium Through June

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica

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By Jorge Casuso

January 28, 2021 -- The State legislature on Thursday extended California’s eviction moratorium through June 30 -- a step also taken by Santa Monica -- and proposed using $2.6 billion in federal relief as rental subsidies.

The supplemental order issued by the City extends the moratorium for residential evictions both for non-payment of rent due to the financial impacts related to COVID-19, and for reasons other than non-payment of rent.

The State bill establishing rental subsidies -- which is headed to the Governor’s office for his signature -- would pay landlords 80 percent of unpaid back rent incurred between April 2020 and March 2021 if they agree to forgive the remaining 20 percent in back rent and agree not to pursue evictions.

The two related bills -- SB 89 and SB 91 -- "are absolutely necessary to protect vulnerable renters from losing their homes in the middle of an ongoing pandemic," said Assemblymember Richard Bloom, who represents Santa Monica.

The State, Bloom warned, is facing a projected 240,000 new evictions if it doesn't take immediate action.

"Both bills will provide realistic and creative solutions, targeting relief to those who need it most while offering support to those providing housing for these communities,” Bloom said.

The former Santa Monica Mayor acknowledged the bills "aren’t perfect and will not solve the problem in the long run."

But he believes they will "prevent hundreds of thousands of people from falling into homelessness in the next couple of months.

"For many, this would be a potential death sentence," Bloom said. "SB 89 and SB 91 will keep people in their homes and prevent small landlords from going bankrupt while we continue to work on longer-term solutions."

In addition to extending the City's eviction moratorium, Santa Monica's latest supplemental order "allows restaurants on the Third Street Promenade to serve patrons at 'satellite' locations within the pedestrian district," City officials said.

"This expansion of outdoor dining is intended to allow for safe, socially distanced dining spaces while supporting the recovery efforts of Third Street Promenade businesses," officials said.

To take advantage of “satellite” outdoor dining zones, restaurants must enter into a temporary outdoor encroachment agreement with the City and follow any other regulations required by the Director of the Community Development Department, officials said.

“As Los Angeles County eases health orders to allow for outdoor dining, we will continue to adapt our public spaces creatively and safely to serve the community and support local businesses,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg.

Those dining outdoors should only do so with other household members, wear a mask -- or two -- when they are not eating and "take all precautions to ensure that we maintain and improve public health together," Dilg said.

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