Long Beach offers extended relief for renters affected by COVID-19

Over+60+cars+participated+in+the+May+1%2C+May+Day+car+caravan+organized+by+the+May+Day+Long+Beach+Coalition%2C+demanding+rent+forgiveness%2C

Kristen Farrah Naeem | Signal Tribune

Over 60 cars participated in the May 1, May Day car caravan organized by the May Day Long Beach Coalition, demanding rent forgiveness,

The Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to move forward with possibly adding an amendment which extends the emergency ordinance that halts evictions for residential and some commercial renters affected by the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday.

The amended ordinance will be presented to the City Council May 26. If the amendment is approved by the City Council and signed by the Mayor, it will go into effect immediately.

“We are seeing the unprecedented economic impacts that this pandemic is having on our residential and commercial tenants in Long Beach,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “The extension of this emergency ordinance provides relief to those who are most at risk of eviction and possible homelessness during this challenging time.”

If approved, the current eviction moratorium and rent deferment period will be extended by another 60 days, until July 31. Tenants will have until July 31 to pay rent owed to landlords without being penalized with late charges and other fees.

According to a press release by the City of Long Beach, renters should consider establishing a payment plan in order to pay their deferred rent in installments during the repayment period.

Under the amended ordinance, tenants in Long Beach who are unable to afford their rent between March 4 and July 31 because of a loss in income due to the ongoing health crisis are required to notify their landlord that their rent payments will be delayed. Affected tenants must be able to show documentation of a significant loss of income caused by unemployment, medical expenses not covered by insurance or the stay at home order.

Landlords giving out rental nonpayment notifications to tenants are also required to include information about the City’s eviction moratorium and rent deferment ordinance until July 31.

The ordinance does not defer rental payments of large commercial tenants that are ran by multi-national or publicly traded companies, companies with 500 employees or more, Long Beach Airport tenants and Harbor and Tidelands area tenants.

The City and its commissions will evaluate each case separately to address economic impacts on renters during the pandemic and recommend appropriate accommodations for rent deferment.

The City Council is also looking at different assistance options for property owners who have been effected by the pandemic, such as foreclosure relief, property tax refunds and a revolving loan fund.

The original eviction moratorium ordinance was adopted by the City Council on March 24.

The City’s website has additional information for homeowners, renters and landlords.