OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and a Chicago-area colleague introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday that would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants during the COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency.

Lee and co-sponsor Jesus Garcia, D-Chicago, said the bill, which has 39 additional co-sponsors, will be part of the third COVID-19 stimulus package introduced in the House of Representatives, which is called the, “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act.”

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“As more workers are losing their jobs or having their hours limited, families are put at risk of missing rent or forgoing food on the table,” Lee said in a statement.

Lee said, “This important legislation ensures that renters in the Bay Area and the nation cannot be evicted from their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. We must ensure that everyone has access to quality housing no matter their financial situation.”

Lee and Garcia said the bill would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants due to failure to pay rent or other causes, unless the tenant commits a serious criminal act that would endanger the health, life and safety of other tenants.

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They said the bill would self-terminate six months after the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency ends the coronavirus emergency that’s been declared by President Donald Trump.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors last week voted to direct county staff to create an ordinance that would provide a temporary 30-day moratorium on evictions in unincorporated parts of the county during the pandemic. City Councils govern eviction laws for individual cities.

Also last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order authorizing local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners.

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