California Eviction Moratorium Extended to June 30, 2021
Creates State Rental Assistance Program to allocate $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance dollars to assist struggling tenants and small property owners
April 5, 2021
4/2/21 – Gov. Gavin Newsom today signed legislation to extend the eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. He said the law was intended to help "millions of Californians struggling as a result of the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the passage of SB 91, California leads all states by enacting the strongest renter protections in the nation."
On Monday, Governor Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced an agreement on the legislation to extend the eviction moratorium established last year under AB 3088, which was set to expire at the end of the month.
The legislation signed today pauses evictions for tenants who declare under penalty of perjury an inability to pay all or part of the rent due to a COVID-related reason. Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to property owners, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction, even after the moratorium ends.
SB 91 also establishes the State Rental Assistance Program to allocate the $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance California will receive. The program will target aid to income-qualified tenants most at-risk with unpaid back rent. Assistance will also be extended to property owners who agree to waive 20 percent of unpaid rent. By agreeing to this waiver, property owners will become eligible for 80 percent in rent reimbursements for amounts owed between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
Approximately $150 million of the federal funds will be reserved for tenants in counties with populations of 200,000 or less and the additional funds will be available to counties with populations larger than 200,000. The state will directly administer $1.5 billion through contracted entities, and local governments can either join forces with the state or administer their own programs. The State Rental Assistance Program will begin accepting applications from property owners and tenants in March.