Mayor Steve Vaus explains coronavirus relief proposals on Poway City Council agenda

POWAY (KUSI) – The City Council Tuesday will consider two relief efforts, including a moratorium on commercial evictions, to help those affected by the coronavirus.

In an official memorandum, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus proposed that the city suspend commercial evictions until May 31. “It is important to note the federal and state government have issued increased protections for landlords that do not make mortgage payments, suspending foreclosure and eviction proceedings by most financial institutions,” the memo read.

If passed, the urgency ordinance will protect commercial tenants from being evicted for nonpayment of rent if they can “demonstrate that they have suffered one or more financial impacts related to COVID-19,” according to a document. The proposed ordinance “is not a moratorium on the payment of rent, and tenants who qualify “shall remain responsible for (the) ultimate payment of rent,” according to city documents.

Council members on Tuesday will also consider a loan program, titled Poway Emergency Assistance Recovery Loans (PEARL). Vaus, in a second memorandum, proposed creating the program to help small businesses get back on their feet. PEARL would complement existing federal and state programs, and “provide a financial bridge to businesses to survive the current emergency.”

In the memo, Vaus requested the council’s input and direction on a loan program, including the types of businesses that qualify, loan amounts and terms, and a funding source. Both the San Diego city and county governments recently passed moratoriums on evictions for residents and business owners.

On March 16, the county — in partnership with the San Diego Foundation, United Way of San Diego and other major regional players — also launched the San Diego COVID-19 Community Fund and asked the public to donate.

The $1.3 million fund focuses on three key areas impacting San Diegans: food insecurity, rental and utility assistance and income replacement – – also known as gap funding.

During its March 25 emergency meeting, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved a multimillion-dollar small business relief fund proposed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

On March 24, the San Marcos City Council approved the COVID-19 Business Sustainability Program that sets aside up to $3 million for short-term business loans.

The Poway City Council will meet via teleconference starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. More information on how to participate in the meeting can be found at https://poway.org/1031/Zoom-Meeting-Help-Information.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local San Diego News