California landlords have been prevented from legally evicting tenants since the judicial council's judicial council passed a decree in April to temporarily stop all coronavirus pandemic clearance procedures. Now the Council has announced that the moratorium could be lifted next month, and a UCLA study says such a move could end in a catastrophic new wave of homelessness in Los Angeles.
During a council session last Friday, the Supreme Judge of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, announced that the council would "soon consider lifting temporary emergency rules", the "court proceedings for evictions and foreclosures during COVID- Suspend 19 Pandemic ".
Noting that the decree could expire on August 14, Justice Cantil-Sakauye said that Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators should consider further safeguards.
Another reason the Council may want to move out of the controversy is a lawsuit brought against it by the Pacific Legal Foundation last month. She argues that the moratorium is "a classic political decision that is actually a matter for the legislature, not the judicial council."
At a press conference on Friday, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was "disappointed" with the Council's announcement and that it was unrealistic that lawmakers could act quickly enough to avoid a disaster.
"I agree with the Chief Justice of California that our lawmakers should act," Garcetti said, adding, "But the reality is that these measures will take more time to pass. And the uncertainty surrounding the abolition of the eviction moratorium Giving tenants in this state would be very, very bad. "
As ABC 7 reports, a recent study by UCLA law professor Gary Blasi predicts that the end of the moratorium could be worse than anything Garcetti imagined.
The report released at the end of May, "UD Day: Impending Evictions and Homelessness in Los Angeles" – named after the day on which landlords can again issue subpoenas or eviction notices for "Unlawful Detainer" – estimates that around 365,000 tenant households in LA could face this eviction if lawmakers don't act quickly. The study included 599,000 workers who lost their jobs and are not receiving unemployment benefits, and 558,000 children related to them.
The paper also identifies the most vulnerable communities in LA as South Central, the Alameda Corridor and Watts. Van Nuys, Pacoima, Arleta and Panorama City are at risk in the San Fernando Valley.
The report suggests canceling the rent or allowing tenants to pay a reduced return rent when they get back to work, while the state could mitigate landlord losses through tax credits.
Blasi also suggests that the county supervisory authority could avert the worst results by creating emergency powers, and explains, “You can stop all evictions. If they can actually seize property without notice, as long as they pay for it later, they can stop the evictions. "
Another possible solution is to accommodate people in the largely decommissioned hotels and motels in Los Angeles. Nationwide, at least 30 percent of tourist accommodations are empty. The researchers also warn that hotel rooms in Los Angeles could remain vacant long after the pandemic ended, and real estate speculators would buy them at cheaper prices if the government didn't take them first.
Ananya Roy from the UCLA Luskin Institute for Inequality and Democracy says: "We assume that 70,000 of these rooms will not function as usual for four to five years." However, the study states: "While hotel and motel rooms offer intermediate accommodations they are not very suitable for families. "
The study concludes with the presentation of the "last resort" option if neither local nor state legislators act: refugee camps. Blasi writes about this bleak prospect: "And if the only options given to the uninhabited are refugee camps or streets, nobody should be expected to peacefully tolerate such an outcome or forgive those who have done little to do it to stop."
RELATED: Why Hasn't the Landlord's Lobby Fought The New California State Rental Control Law?
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