As 2021 approaches, the end of the pandemic-triggered eviction moratorium is looming, with both renters and landlords scrambling to make ends meet.
“I’m definitely nervous,” said renter Elizabeth Agramont-Justiniano now that the nine month moratorium is just one month away from expiring.
Agramont-Justiniano is dipping into her savings to make ends meet, worrying about renter protection going away for close to 40,000 families in Santa Clara County.
"That's not good for a community,” said Agramont-Justiniano. “And that makes trying to overcome the pandemic even harder."
Unless something changes, many of those renters will no longer be protected from eviction come Feb. 1. Losing their homes, as property owners and landlords lose income.
"Some people in the course of the pandemic have left the area completely, they figured they'd never be able to pay the back rent, so they left,” said Sandy Perry, president of the Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County.
But there may be help on the way. The new federal stimulus bill includes $25 billion of rent relief and the city of San Jose is reaching out, too.
"First of all we want to assist those who are having trouble paying rent. We have non-profits such as Sacred Heart and Destination Home providing rent relief to families right now,” said Rachel Vanderveen, deputy director of the San Jose Housing Department.
There is also potential legislation in the works. Assembly bills 15 and 16 together would provide money for landlords, while extending the eviction moratorium through the end of 2021.