Lawmakers in San Francisco have passed an ordinance to support landlords whose tenants cannot pay rent due to the pandemic.
According to a report by the city’s Budget and Legislative Analyst, the eviction moratorium put in place in response to COVID-19 has cost landlords in the city between $81.3 million and $196.2 million. Unemployment, which spiked as high as 12.6 percent in April, continues to trail pre-pandemic levels, leaving many tenants unable to pay rent.
Landlords also report lost income through early terminations or rent reductions necessary to keep tenants in place.
While other programs have focused on financial support for tenants, landlords received only a one-time stimulus payment, and lawmakers recognized that there were no direct financial assistance programs for landlords who rely on their rental income.
The measure, which was first introduced in June, passed in October. However, it was tied to a funding initiative, Proposition I, on the November ballot. That initiative was approved by voters, paving the way for implementation of the new ordinance.
The benefits offered covers 50% of rent up to $3,000 per unit per month for larger landlords. Eligible small landlords — those who own 10 or fewer units — can receive up to 65% of monthly rent and are not subject to the $3,000 cap. To receive the funds, landlords must agree to waive back rent that accrued during the pandemic state of emergency.
The city continues to bar evictions of nonpayment during the pandemic.
To the extent funding runs short, small landlords facing financial hardship such as the inability to make mortgage payments or complete repairs will be given priority, according to the language of the ordinance.
The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development will handle the administration of the funds.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.