Newsom declares statewide eviction ban; Santa Clarita releases details on special meeting

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday a temporary statewide ban on evictions, and Santa Clarita released details on an upcoming meeting to consider local rent protections, as rent for many residential and commercial tenants is soon approaching. 

California’s moratorium on evictions, which took effect immediately, for renters affected by COVID-19 will last through May 31, Newsom said as he welcomed the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy at the Port of Los Angeles. 

The new directive prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits law enforcement and courts from enforcement. Those who cannot pay all or part of their rent will have to declare in writing no more than seven days after rent is due, their reason for nonpayment. Renters will still be required “to repay full rent in a timely manner and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium is lifted,” Newsom’s order said. 

Newsom’s ban comes after Los Angeles County issued on March 19 its own hold on evictions that will continue through May 31. The county’s order only applies to unincorporated areas, meaning that in the Santa Clarita Valley, only areas outside of the city of Santa Clarita boundaries, such as Stevenson Ranch and Castaic, would be covered. 

In response to those affected within city boundaries, Santa Clarita announced Friday that City Council members will reconvene Tuesday to consider the city’s own eviction moratorium for residential and commercial tenants that would fall in line with the county’s eviction ban. 

The meeting is scheduled at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 31. 

“The order will be in place prior to April 1 and that protection will remain into effect until May 31,” said Smyth during a Facebook live broadcast on Friday. “There certainly is an opportunity to extend that protection beyond May 31 if necessary, but for now we are going to stay in line with the governor and the statewide directive.” 

Smyth reiterated that if one can continue to pay their rent, they should, as, “We want to keep the economy moving.” 

He also reminded viewers that for property owners, Newsom announced Wednesday four of five major banks’ commitment to establishing a 90-day grace period on mortgages and foreclosures

In compliance with state and county mandates regarding holding public meetings, the public will be able to participate only through teleconferencing and written comment cards for Tuesday’s council meeting, the news release read. 

All requests to comment must be submitted prior to 3 p.m. on Tuesday in order for staff to coordinate the public participation. Instructions for making such a request or submitting written comments will be posted online at santa-clarita.com/agendas on Monday.

For all local coronavirus-related stories, visit: signalscv.com/2020/03/covid-19-coverage-summary.

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