The coronavirus is certainly a worrying development—and while it doesn’t necessarily feel that the federal government is acting swiftly enough to protect people, cities such as San Jose, California, are taking steps to help those who need it most.
As you might know, someone trying to survive in the Bay Area with a minimum-wage job probably can’t pay rent if they miss one paycheck. But as people increasingly avoid public places because of the new coronavirus, workers (especially those who work for tips) are losing money quickly. And if anyone becomes sick, they’ll be forced to miss work for 14 days of quarantine. If schools close, parents will also miss work.
The entire environment is making it more likely that some people may not have enough money to pay essential bills. So in San Jose, the city council voted today to begin work on a plan to temporarily ban evictions due to coronavirus. It is just one step cities are taking to help citizens.
The moratorium will require tenants who can’t pay to notify landlords before rent is due, and then provide pay stubs and a note from their employer to prove that they’ve been directly affected by the current coronavirus outbreak. Tenants will still have to pay at a later point when they can.
San Francisco is also considering legislation to ban evictions for tenants who can’t pay rent because of the coronavirus outbreak. The legislation would also temporarily ban late fees when someone can’t pay rent. On top of that, the Board of Supervisors is considering expanding its existing sick leave law so that people won’t have to use up their limited sick days because of the public health emergency. We’ll keep an eye out on this development.