By Arturo Castañares
The San Diego City Council and Mayor have approved an emergency moratorium on all evictions within the City of San Diego for 30 days as residents and businesses deal with the immediate fallout of the coronavirus.
San Diego residents or businesses who miss rent payments due to a loss of income, loss of work, or medical bills related to the coronavirus outbreak can get relief.
“Work is slowing down and businesses are closing their doors,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at a news conference at City Hall after the council vote. “As jobs disappear, rents do not. This relief is incredibly important.”
Mayor Faulconer was joined by Council President Georgette Gomez to announce several actions San Diego leaders are working on to help residents navigate the economic impacts of the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is already causing harm throughout our communities and across our regional economy, impacting vulnerable families, individuals, and businesses,” City Council President Georgette Gomez said Monday. “We must act immediately to protect those who most are at risk of devastating financial hardship.”
City Attorney Mara Elliott’s office must still write the legal language and present it to the full Council in the next few weeks before it can go into effect.
The proposed moratorium will not relieve tenants of the obligation to pay rent during the moratorium may be in effect or restrict a landlord from recovering the past rent at a future time.
Mayor Faulconer acknowledged that the plan must strike a balance between the rights of tenants, property owners, and lenders.
“This involves tenants, landlords and lenders, so in partnership with my City Council colleagues and the City Attorney, we will develop an ordinance that recognizes we are all in this together,” Mayor Faulconer added.
The Council’s actions came one day after Mayor Faulconer issued an Executive Order limiting gatherings, closing bars and restaurant dining, and implementing other emergency rules within the City of San Diego to help limit the spread of the virus. Restaurants within the City can now only serve food to-go, drive-thru, or for delivery, all bars and nightclubs must close, and social gatherings can not exceed 50 people. The Order also removed restrictions that banned deliveries to grocery stores during certain hours.