Note: The Eureka City Council will meet to discuss this issue and a couple of others Monday afternoon at 4 p.m., but it won’t be a normal meeting. The chambers will be closed and the whole thing will happen over Zoom.
You can tune in to watch via the city’s website — click here — and you can submit your comments on the following item, or any other item on the agenda before 3 p.m., by either phone or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (707) 441-4175.
From the City of Eureka:
At a special meeting on Monday, March 30th at 4 pm, the Eureka City Council will consider an eviction moratorium. On March 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slow foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19.
The Executive Order comes as Californians are experiencing substantial loss of hours or wages, or layoffs related to COVID-19, affecting their ability to keep up their rents, mortgages, and utility bills. The eviction moratorium will be in effect until May 31, 2020.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government-ordered precautions, many tenants have experienced sudden income loss, and further income impacts are anticipated, leaving tenants vulnerable to eviction. Given the severe consequence of evictions or possible increases in rent, including potential homelessness and potential for families moving into overcrowded conditions with the potential to spread the virus, an unconditional moratorium on evictions that are based on non-payment of rent and no-fault terminations of tenancy is necessary while the public health emergency remains. During this state of emergency, and in the interests of protecting the public health and preventing transmission of the coronavirus, it is essential to avoid unnecessary displacement and homelessness.
Upon passage, this ordinance would take effect immediately and will remain in effect through May 31, 2020. Please note that the City Council may extend the effective period of this ordinance as necessary in response to the emergency.
During the moratorium, no landlord may evict a tenant in either of the following situations:
1. For nonpayment for rent; or
2. For a no-fault eviction
To qualify for delayed payments, the tenant must notify the landlord in writing of lost income and inability to pay full rent and provide documentation to support the claim. The circumstances to make this claim may include:
1. Tenant lost household income as a result of being sick with Coronavirus, or caring for a household or family member who is sick with Coronavirus;
2. Tenant lost household income as a result of a lay-off, loss of hours, loss of business, or other income reduction resulting from Coronavirus or the state of emergency;
3. Tenant lost household income due to compliance with a recommendation from a government agency to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency;
4. Tenant lost household income as a result of caring for minor children affected by school, pre- school and/or childcare closures; or
5. Tenant lost household income as a result of the discontinuance or reduction of a government aid program.
This ordinance emphasizes that tenants are still obligated to pay lawfully charged rent, and will have up to 180 days following the expiration of the ordinance to repay any delayed payment. Landlords and tenants may mutually work out a payment schedule or arrangements for repayment of delayed payments.In addition, the ordinance suspends until after May 31, 2020:
1. The discontinuation or shut off of water service for residents and businesses in the City for non-payment of water and sewer bills;
2. The imposition of late payment penalties or fees for delinquent water and/or sewer bills; and
3. Increases in rent.
The proposed ordinance is available for review at the City of Eureka’s website: www.ci.eureka.ca.gov