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Whittier considering temporary stop to evictions

WHITTIER — The Whittier City Council on Tuesday will consider a temporary city-wide moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on March 4, the executive order included language suspending foreclosures and allowing cities to restrict residential and commercial evictions.

Millions of people across the country have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced at work. One estimate said 37 million jobs could be lost in the coming weeks and months. 

“As the global COVID-19 emergency persists, the economic impacts of the federal and state orders to prevent the spread of the virus such as social distancing, school closures, and restaurant and bar closures has left many city business and individuals unable to pay their rent,” assistant city attorney Richard Adams wrote in a staff report to city manager Brian Saeki.

If approved, residents could not be evicted for failure to pay rent due to a “substantial” decrease in household income or out-of-pocket medical expenses related to coronavirus.

Landlords would not be permitted to begin eviction proceeding against tenants who qualify during the term of the ordinance, nor would Landlords be able to charge late fees to eligible tenants. However, tenants will still be legally responsible for paying all rent due within four months after the expiration of the ordinance.

The federal government has already suspended foreclosures on FHA-insured mortgages.


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