San Diego City Council extends COVID-19 rent repayment to December 30

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego City Council voted 5-4 Tuesday to extend the rent repayment period for commercial and residential renters to Dec. 30, giving renters who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic a few extra months to repay back rent.

Council President Georgette Gomez’s initial motion Tuesday would have extended the repayment period for the eviction moratorium to March 31, 2021. Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell amended the motion to the December date as a compromise.

On March 25, the council voted unanimously to begin an emergency eviction moratorium for renters. The moratorium requires renters to demonstrate through documentation that the pandemic has caused “substantial loss of income,” according to city staff. Renters are also required to follow rules in leases, but landlords cannot evict a tenant for nonpayment due to COVID-19.

The moratorium expires Sept. 30. If tenants are in good standing with landlords, they can work out a repayment plan for back rent through Dec. 30, but otherwise things could get dicey for tenants.

“We are all in it together,” Gomez said before discussion of the motion. “The economy is not fully restored. This is not an ideal policy, but it’s a necessity for what we are dealing with.”

Gomez represents District 9, which encompasses Southcrest, City Heights, Rolando and the College area. It has also been one of the most impacted areas during the pandemic.

According to a member of Gomez’ staff — which gave the presentation on the topic — the city had started 15,659 rental relief applications using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds. Disbursements from that pool of relief money are scheduled to be handed out in late August or early September. Those funds will go directly to landlords, however, and not renters.

The congressional candidate for California’s 53rd district joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss the rent repayment extension and her support for the HEROES Act in congress to bring relief to San Diegans.

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