SAN JOSE (KPIX) — The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will discuss plans to extend its current eviction moratorium through September 30, providing broad protections for residential and commercial tenants suffering from the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have been trying my hardest to collect enough money to pay rent,” says Maria Ruiz with the help of an interpreter.
Ruiz says her hours at her job at McDonald’s were cut in half during the pandemic, causing her to fall two months behind on her rent. She says the eviction moratorium is the only thing keeping a roof over her head.
“I am taking care of my two grandchildren and my two daughters live with me. If we got evicted, we would be out on the street and I don’t want that for my family,” says Ruiz.
The moratorium blocks evictions, gives tenants 12 months to re-pay back rent and prevents property owners from tacking on expensive late fees.
“Not all landlords are bad guys. I don’t even want to come close to saying that,” says Santa Clara Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez. “What I am saying is, “If you are taking advantage of this time, we are going to stop you from doing that.”
Some property owners, however, say the county’s plan is flawed and simply shifts the burden from tenants to landlords who have bills to pay, as well.
“My perspective, though, is I still have to pay the mortgage. I still have to pay PG&E and water and garbage and if I don’t pay those, those are going to get shut off,” says Roberta Moore who owns a small apartment complex in San Jose.
“I don’t see the government stepping up and saying you don’t have to pay your property taxes,” Moore says.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to make a final decision at its August 25 meeting in time to extend the protections through the month of September.