What's at stake?
Thousands of Fresno renters who are rent burdened amid the ongoing housing crisis and pandemic may now face evictions for nonpayment of rent, but some protections are still in place.
The Fresno eviction moratorium came to an end Thursday with Fresno City Council voting 6-0 to repeal COVID-19 emergency orders that have been in place for more than two years.
Fresno was one of the first cities to implement a local eviction ban for nonpayment of rent and was one of a handful of cities in California to repeal it after the statewide law SB2179 passed in March. For those living in cities or counties not covered by a local moratorium, the statewide eviction ban ended for those who had not filed for the state emergency rental assistance March 31 and was extended to June 30 for those still waiting to hear back.
“The reason for lifting the moratorium is really centered around the fact that we’re no longer in an emergency as it pertains to COVID,” Mayor Jerry Dyer said. “That’s not to say we don’t have a housing crisis at present because we do and we have a lot of people that are rent burdened.”
Dyer said that the eviction moratorium being tied to COVID-19 emergencies could put the city “at risk” for litigation.
While the moratorium is ending, people still have time to pay back due rent and some COVID-19 protections for renters and landlords are still in place.
Here’s five things to know about the end of the local eviction moratorium.
What does the end of the local eviction moratorium mean?
The repeal of the local eviction moratorium allows landlords (both residential and commercial) to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent for rent due after June 9.
However, there are still eviction protections in place for renters who have already begun seeking funds from the emergency rental assistance program and are falling behind.
When might I be evicted if I owe back rent prior to the cut-off date?
Landlords cannot evict tenants who owe back rent accrued before June 9 if the tenant has communicated hardship due to COVID-19 prior to Friday and provides documentation of that hardship within 10 days.
Renters will have until February 1, 2023 to pay the rental debt if they have notified their landlords.
Can I still apply for emergency rental assistance?
Yes, renters can still apply for emergency rental assistance if they have back due rent.
City officials said roughly $39 million of the $54 million of ERAP funding has been spent.
To apply for emergency rental assistance in the city of Fresno, visit fresno.gov/mayor/erap or call 559-621-6801.
Tenants can also visit or call the following organizations to apply:
- Reading and Beyond: 559-214-0317
- The Fresno Center: 559-898-2565
- Centro La Familia: 559-237-2961
- Education & Leadership Foundation: 559-291-5428
- Jakara Movement: 559-549-4088
- West Fresno Family Resource Center: 559-621-2967
What can I do if I get an eviction notice?
The city of Fresno has an ongoing eviction protection program. The eviction protection program provides free legal counsel to renters who are considered to have a potentially unlawful eviction.
The initial screening application can be found at fresno.gov
Tenants can request legal assistance by:
- Filling out and submitting the form found at fresno.gov/cityattorney.
- Calling 559-621-8400 to request to be screened for the Eviction Protection Program.
- Printing out the PDF, fill it out and mail it into or drop it off at City of Fresno City Attorney’s Office, Attn: EPP, 2600 Fresno Street, Room 3076, Fresno, CA 93721
Renters can also call Central California Legal Services for free legal assistance at 800-675-8001 if they have received any eviction notices.
Will my landlord be able to sue me for past due rent?
Renters will have until Feb. 1, 2023 to pay back due rent accumulated prior to June 10 to avoid facing evictions.
However, landlords can file a judgment against renters who owe money.
Have more questions? Let us know
Have more questions about the end of the local eviction moratorium ending? Do you know your housing rights? Have you received an eviction notice?
Let us know below. Fresnoland will continue to report on the impact renters and landlords face as a result of the pandemic and the end of COVID-related protections, your questions and input will guide us.
Fresno Bee reporter Brianna Vaccari contributed to this article.
Correction: This article has been updated to clarify that renters can apply for back-due rent after June 9.