This summer, our volunteer grassroots leaders joined partners across the state in successfully urging decision makers to expand and extend California’s eviction moratorium and rent relief program.
In a meeting in June with California’s Deputy Secretary of Housing, Faith in the Valley leader Shar Thompson said: “Please help set tenants up for success by expanding eligibility and enforcement of the eviction moratorium. Please remember the stories and those of us that have struggled to beat the streets and struggled our way out of homelessness. Let this be the hope and assistance people need in economic crisis like I am.”
A few weeks later, the COVID-19 Relief Act mandating California’s eviction moratorium, was extended and tenants and landlords have more protections as they recover from the effects of the pandemic. FIV and partners are continuing to advocate for a more efficient and accessible rent relief application process and for the government to expedite rent relief payments through September.
Our grassroots leaders played an active role in advancing a Homelessness Prevention Fund for Right to Counsel. One more Senate vote is required to establish a $120 million trust fund for Right to Counsel, which will help ensure that tenants facing eviction have an attorney to represent them in court proceedings.
Our research has shown that less than 1% of tenants have legal representation in Central Valley eviction courts as compared to 59%(Kern), 67%(San Joaquin), and 73%(Fresno) of landlords. Legal representation is crucial in stopping evictions once it reaches the courts and in keeping families in their homes.
For assistance with rent and utilities costs, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.