Bay Area property owners say CA's new eviction bill puts them at risk of foreclosures

Luz Pena Image
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Bay Area property owners voice concern over eviction bill
Property providers are concerned the new eviction bill, AB 3088, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom will lead to foreclosures.

SAN JOSE (KGO) -- Bay Area property owners are concerned the new eviction bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom will lead to foreclosures.

Right before the deadline, Newsom signed AB-3088 granting tenants financially hurt by the pandemic five more months of eviction protections.

RELATED: California Senate passes eviction relief bill amid virus

"Passing AB3088 is the least we can do," said Assemblymember David Chiu.

Tenants are required to pay 25% of their rent until January.

"But it doesn't have to be paid every month it can be paid at the end of the time period," said Chiu.

A decision that is affecting property owners who have their own bills.

RELATED: CDC directs halt to renter evictions through the end of the year to prevent COVID-19 spread

"What is going to do is put a lot of mom and pops in foreclosure or in a very difficult position to pay their bills. Especially if you have a large group of tenants who are not paying at all," said property owner Gustavo Gonzalez.

Gonzales owns two housing buildings in San Jose. He says at least 20% of his tenants have been unable to pay. Gonzalez believes many property providers like him are holding on by a thread and hoping they don't lose everything.

"What they should've done is figure out a way to get more funds to help support the tenants with their payments and so we can continue to pay our bills, mortgages, property taxes, but instead they said 25% is the best we can do," said Gonzalez.

RELATED: Eviction moratoriums around the Bay Area during coronavirus pandemic: Ordinances city by city

Assemblymember Chiu calling this bill imperfect but necessary. Housing advocates are now calling for federal intervention.

"Right now what the federal government should be doing is stepping in with economic help either directly to landlords or directly to tenants to help pay their rent but this is the role of the federal government," said Todd David, Executive Director SF Housing Action Coalition.

Chiu says that's the overall goal but for now, this is a Band-Aid to a bigger crisis.

"We just balanced a $54 million deficit in California and we need the federal administration to provide financial assistance," said Chiu.

Come Feb. 1 tenants are responsible for the back rent. Meanwhile, the state legislators say they will reassess this decision next year.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

See more stories and videos about Building a Better Bay Area here.