Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Statement on Eviction Moratorium

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Today, the California State Legislature passed legislation, SB 91, to extend the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 financial hardship, from January 31, 2021, to June 30, 2021. Assemblymember Chris Holden released the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the crises California already faced, especially housing. Too many folks are just hanging by a thread, praying to make rent and avoid eviction. Too many small, mom-and-pop landlords who rely on tenants for income have been stretched thin trying to do the right thing. It is our responsibility to prevent tens of thousands of catastrophic life change events for these families.

SB 91 will provide the necessary relief to avoid the “eviction cliff” that would have happened on February 1. This is an important and critical big step forward, and that is why I supported the legislation today. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues, advocates, and community members in my district to close loopholes that put renters in insurmountable rental debt, improve solutions that solve our housing crises, and provide support to families struggling in this pandemic.

This isn’t a perfect bill, but it provides critical protections and cash payments that will keep thousands of families afloat as we craft the policies and protections needed to get California through this crisis.”

SB 91 extends the eviction moratorium provisions established by last year’s AB 3088. Tenants who pay 25 percent of monthly rent, either in a lump sum or monthly, qualify for this moratorium.

It also administers the State Rental Assistance Program, funded by the federal COVID-19 stimulus package. Renters with qualifying income can have 80% of their rent or utility debt covered. The funds are paid directly to the landlord, providing immediate relief for those struggling to pay the mortgage and protect their tenant’s homes. Landlords must agree to forgive the remaining 20 percent and not pursue evictions or go after remaining debt. Up to 25% of funds can also be paid directly to tenant if their landlord is not participating in the program.

For transparency, the bill requires the department to submit to Joint Legislative Budget Committee on a monthly basis for the duration of the program, a report that provides programmatic performance metrics for funds administered. It also includes intent language that the state closely monitor the usage of funding to ensure that the program is stabilizing households and preventing evictions.