Mayor Gloria Secures Approval for Legal Defense Fund to Help Renters

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NEW CITY EFFORT WILL PROVIDE LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO RENTERS FACING EVICTION DUE TO PANDEMIC IMPACTS

Voice & Viewpoint Newswire

On October 5, Mayor Todd Gloria secured City Council approval of his proposal to establish a $5 million legal defense fund to help struggling tenants potentially facing eviction due to non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legal aid program will use $5 million in federal CARES Act dollars to provide eviction-prevention education and legal assistance. It will be administered by the San Diego Housing Commission and open to undocumented residents.

The creation of this program supplements the City’s COVID-19 Housing Stability Assistance Program, which has helped roughly 12,000 struggling San Diego households pay overdue rent and utility bills. As of the end of September, more than $103 million had been paid out. The remaining funds in the program have been fully committed to renters whose applications have received preliminary approval.

“Evictions often lead to homelessness, and we simply can’t afford to have more San Diegans living on the streets,” said Council President pro Tem Whitburn, who represents the 3rd District.

Until March 31, 2022, landlords who want to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent (when a tenant has experienced a COVID-19-related hardship) must show that they applied for rental assistance and it was denied. If the landlord cannot demonstrate this, the case will be dismissed.

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