Last night my collegaues and I voted to implement a number of step to help support Long Beach residents during the COVID-19 crisis. These are meant to be reasonable steps that look realistically at the serious emergency we are facing, and take action to reduce growing and dangerous harms to our community.
A new emergency ordinance, effective today, temporarily halts evictions for residential and commercial tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of a comprehensive rental relief package.
The emergency ordinance is retroactive to March 4, 2020, when Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency to address the COVID-19 outbreak in California, and it ends on May 31, 2020.
If a tenant is unable to pay rent between March 4 and May 31, due to a reduction in income caused by COVID-19, they must notify their landlords that rent will not be paid on time. Tenants are then required to provide documentation of substantial income losses caused by job layoffs, out-of-pocket medical expenses or requirements to stay at home due to COVID-19. Protected tenants have until November 30 to pay all delayed rent to their landlords without incurring late charges.
Through May 31, landlords issuing notifications for rental nonpayment notifications must include information about the City’s emergency ordinance so that tenants are aware of their rights.
In a related move, the City Council also voted Tuesday for the Housing Authority to suspend the termination of housing assistance payments through May 31, aimed at ensuring recipients are able to comply with the City’s Safer at Home order.
Additionally, the City Council voted Tuesday to extend operations for the Winter Shelter through September 30 for people experiencing homelessness. The temporary shelter was initially scheduled to close April 1.
Under an agreement reached between the City and the United States Veterans Initiative, some of the beds from the Winter Shelter will be relocated to the former North Neighborhood Library at 5571 Orange Ave. The move ensures COVID-19-related distancing at the shelter while also continuing the availability of 125 beds for people experiencing homelessness.
Additionally, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a major financial relief package. It includes financial institutions providing relief for Californians economically impacted by COVID-19 allowing them a 90-day grace period to make mortgage payments. it also included an agreement from financial institutions that they will not negatively impact credit reports as a result of accepting payment relief.