With the end of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency proclamation now in sight, Supervisor Dean Preston is proposing to tack an extra 60 days onto the city’s eviction moratorium that would otherwise end once the emergency proclamation ends.
Here’s a surprising bit of SF pandemic trivia: the current COVID-19 eviction moratorium happened before shelter-in-place was even declared. That chilling and then-shocking shelter-in-place declaration went into place at midnight on March 17, 2020. But digging through old press releases, we see that Mayor Breed’s original COVID-19 eviction moratorium is dated March 13, 2020, a few days prior to shelter-in-place, declaring a “moratorium on residential evictions related to financial impacts caused by COVID-19.”
The eviction moratorium was extended several times by the SF Board of Supervisors, but with the pandemic emergency declaration soon to end, so too will the eviction moratorium. Unless Supervisor Dean Preston has his way, as the Examiner reports Preston is proposing a 60-day extension of the eviction moratorium.
BREAKING: Today, I'm introducing an ordinance to extend San Francisco's ban on evictions for COVID-related nonpayment of rent. We need to do everything possible to protect San Francisco tenants from eviction. pic.twitter.com/RkVEdmWihy— Dean Preston (@DeanPreston) March 7, 2023
Preston announced this proposal in a video that he appears to have shot himself, seen above, while walking to City Hall. “We’ve got to make sure we are not going off an eviction cliff when the local state of emergency ends,” Preston says. “We wanted to make sure that the health crisis does not become an eviction crisis.”
“San Francisco tenants who can’t pay their rent due to COVID-related hardship would be protected from eviction for another two months after the city ends its mayoral state of emergency under a new proposal from Supervisor Dean Preston.” https://t.co/7r9fSNYmZL— Dean Preston (@DeanPreston) March 8, 2023
So if Preston’s resolution passes, specifically when would the eviction moratorium end? That’s still not entirely clear.
As the Chronicle explains, “While the city’s public health emergency for COVID ended last month, a separate emergency proclamation from the mayor is still in effect. The city has not said when it will terminate. The federal government’s COVID emergency will end May 11; San Francisco could end its emergency at the same time or continue it to a later date.”
But if we were to end our emergency declaration on May 11, that (combined with Preston’s proposal, if it passes) would extend the SF eviction moratorium to around July 11.
This is great news for people struggling, but it’s also a little infuriating that tens of million in tenant relief money is still just sitting there. As the Examiner explains, “more than $71 million [is] allocated to rent relief programs, of which about $24 million remains unspent and could aid another 3,000 households.”
Image: @DeanPreston via Twitter