State Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and a group of public health officials expressed concern Monday about the potential for millions of renters across the state to be evicted later this month.
Statewide emergency protections for renters, intended to prevent evictions during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, are expected to end Aug. 14.
Chiu and public health officials like Sonoma County Public Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase and UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations Director Dr. Margot Kushel argued that failing to extend renter protections will force millions of residents into homelessness.
"Eviction results, much of the time, in households either doubling up within another household or becoming homeless," Kushel said. "These outcomes always have terrible consequences for health."
Chiu also called for support for Assembly Bill 1436, a bill he co-authored that would place a forbearance on rent and mortgage payments throughout the state's COVID-19 state of emergency or April 1, 2021, whichever comes first.
"Keeping Californians housed is critical to keeping our state healthy during this time period," Chiu said.
The group of officials argued that the potential wave of evictions would hit Black and Latinx households harder than it would white households, much the same way Black and Latinx populations have faced disproportionate numbers of coronavirus infections during the pandemic.
"I fear that the looming eviction crisis of 2020 will make the 2008 (housing) crisis pale in comparison," Mase said. "We must do everything in our power to prevent that."