Ban on evictions in Santa Clarita extended through end of August

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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Residential and commercial tenants within the city of Santa Clarita affected by the pandemic have extended protection against evictions through Aug. 31, following a unanimous vote Tuesday by the City Council. 

Santa Clarita council members adopted an ordinance to lengthen the temporary prohibition on these evictions and payback provisions that were set to expire on July 31, after their previous extension on June 23. 

“(D)uring this local emergency, and in the interest of protecting the public health and preventing transmission of COVID-19, it is essential to avoid unnecessary housing displacement, and prevent housed individuals from falling into homelessness, as well as facilitate the rapid return to business and generation of tax revenues and provision of retail services to the Santa Clarita community by commercial tenants,” read a portion of the new, proposed ordinance. 

One member of the community, however, urged the City Council to refrain from extending the moratorium even further. 

“Most landlords are willing to work with tenants (and) can reach mutual readable agreements between each other,” said resident Steve Petzold during public comment. “I don’t see a crisis in this community regarding evictions. It’s unnecessary.” 

Another resident, Tony Maldonado, suggested the ban be extended through Sept. 30. 

“(T)he six weeks provided would, in my humble opinion, be insufficient and would not provide the needed certainty that most require in order to plan accordingly over the next month as it would only resolve what to do for the month of August, which is just around the corner and puts us back here again just a few weeks with the same uncertainties for September,” he said. 

Both sides are understandable, said Councilwoman Laurene Weste, who issued the first motion for a vote. 

“I tend to agree with both of them. The problem is that we are in a situation that is totally unprecedented,” she said. “I understand both sides and I hope that this is going to end soon because it is tearing everyone apart.”

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