FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2020
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SUPERVISORS APPROVE COUNTYWIDE MORATORIUM
ON "COVID-19 EVICTIONS"
SAN JOSE – Today, during its first-ever virtual teleconference/Board Meeting, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors passed an Urgency Ordinance establishing a temporary and limited moratorium on evictions that will apply countywide (including all fifteen incorporated cities and towns).
Supervisor Joe Simitian, who made the motion to adopt the Ordinance, observed, “Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary action, and these are certainly extraordinary circumstances.”
The Ordinance prevents evictions for failure to pay rent from occurring in the midst of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Inclusion of the urgency clause means the Ordinance is immediately effective, and the countywide application means that it will apply countywide, except in the event that a city has passed a measure/provision that is more stringent than the one approved by the Board of Supervisors. Effectively, this means that the County’s ordinance will take precedence if a local ordinance is less stringent.
Simitian noted, “Residents and small business owners need to know they aren’t going to be out on the street, and this Ordinance does that. We can all take a deep breath and focus on the immediate problem at hand – taking steps to stop the further spread of COVID-19.”
Some important aspects of the ordinance include:
· Prohibits eviction for failure to pay rent for renters financially affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
· Applies to renters who can document “substantial loss” as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
· Applies to both residential and small business commercial rentals.
· Lasts through May 31.
Simitian further observed, “This is a common-sense, compassionate step that is fair to both renters and property owners.” He continued, “The Ordinance does not eliminate the need to pay rent, but it does provide an important grace period for those in our community who have been directly impacted financially by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. And it ensures that we don’t further complicate the situation by increasing our homeless population unnecessarily.”
The Ordinance passed by a unanimous vote (5-0).
The full text of the Ordinance can be found on the Board of Supervisor’s Agenda, Item #16. A link to that agenda is here: http://sccgov.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=12191