Preventing a Wave of Evictions and Foreclosures

Acting on a motion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl, the Board of Supervisors called for developing a comprehensive plan to prevent significant numbers of evictions and foreclosures once Los Angeles County’s eviction moratorium is lifted.

“The moratorium currently provides temporary protection to many households who have suffered a loss in income during the pandemic – but its just that – temporary. When the time ultimately comes to end the moratorium, it is unlikely that most renters will immediately be in a position to pay back months of unpaid rent,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “We need to provide both renters and property owners with robust support and interventions in order to prevent massive evictions and foreclosures that could lead to a tsunami of Angelenos becoming homeless.”

“COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on families who had already been scraping by paycheck to paycheck,” Supervisor Kuehl said. “The County’s eviction and foreclosure moratorium have helped keep many of those residents in their homes. When the time comes to lift the moratorium, people who fell behind in their rent will face the nearly-impossible task of trying to pay current and back rent at the same time. We need a plan to avoid a surge of new evictions and homelessness, and this motion will deliver that plan.”

The Board directed the County’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to develop the plan in coordination with the County’s CEO, Counsel, and Development Authority. The plan should include programmatic and legislative strategies, and be presented to the Board in 30 days.

The Board enacted a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions in the County’s unincorporated areas in March, then later expanded it to all jurisdictions countywide that had not already adopted their own moratoria. In May, the Board decided the moratoria could be extended on a month-to-month basis as needed.

Meanwhile, the County’s eviction moratorium, reinforced by an Executive Order from Governor Gavin Newsom, applies to people unable to pay rent due to the following circumstances:

  • Being diagnosed with COVID-19, or caring for a household or family member diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • A layoff, loss of hours, or other income reduction resulting from a business closure or other economic or employer impacts of COVID-19;
  • Compliance with a recommendation from the County’s Health Officer to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency;
  • Extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses related to diagnosis and testing for and/or treatment of COVID-19; or
  • Childcare needs arising from school closures related to COVID-19.

The Board also voted to extend the Eviction Moratorium until July 30, 2020, at which time they are slated to revisit whether it should be further continued.