A new emergency ordinance, effective now, temporarily halts evictions for residential and commercial tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of a comprehensive rental relief package unanimously approved Tuesday night by the City Council.
We're just starting to see the economic impacts of COVID-19 on our residential and commercial tenants in Long Beach. The emergency ordinance enacted by the City Council should provide relief to those who are most vulnerable to eviction and possible homelessness during this difficult time.
The emergency ordinance is retroactive to March 4, 2020, when Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency to address the COVID-19 outbreak in California.
If a tenant is unable to pay rent between March 4 and May 31, due to a reduction in income caused by COVID-19, they must notify their landlords that rent will not be paid on time. Tenants are then required to provide documentation of substantial income losses caused by job layoffs, out-of-pocket medical expenses or requirements to stay at home due to COVID-19. Protected tenants have until Nov. 30 to pay all delayed rent to their landlords without incurring late charges.
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Through May 31, landlords issuing notifications for rental nonpayment notifications must include information about the City's emergency ordinance so that tenants are aware of their rights.
In a related move, the City Council also voted Tuesday for the Housing Authority to suspend the termination of housing assistance payments through May 31, aimed at ensuring recipients are able to comply with the City's Safer at Home order.
Additionally, the City Council voted Tuesday to extend operations for the Winter Shelter through September 30 for people experiencing homelessness. The temporary shelter was initially scheduled to close April 1.
Under an agreement reached between the City and the United States Veterans Initiative, some of the beds from the Winter Shelter will be relocated to the former North Neighborhood Library at 5571 Orange Ave. The move ensures COVID-19-related distancing at the shelter while also continuing the availability of 125 beds for people experiencing homelessness.
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