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Oakland passes coronavirus rent freeze & eviction ban
by By Lynda Carson
Sunday Mar 29th, 2020 11:36 PM
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, on March 27, 2020, the Oakland City Council passed an emergency ordinance prohibiting landlords from evicting residential and commercial tenants. The emergency ordinance which includes a freeze on rents took effect immediately, and will last at least until May 31!
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Oakland passes coronavirus rent freeze & eviction ban

By Lynda Carson - March 29, 2020

Oakland - Because of the coronavirus pandemic, on March 27, 2020, the Oakland City Council passed an emergency ordinance prohibiting landlords from evicting residential and commercial tenants. The emergency ordinance which includes a freeze on rents took effect immediately, and will last at least until May 31.

Presently many people throughout California are under orders to shelter-in-place, and must remain at least 6 feet in distance (social distancing) from others because of the coronavirus, and COVID-19. As a result they may have lost their jobs, their income, and can not pay their rent.

According to an email from James E. Vann, of the Oakland Tenant's Union, he said, "All the following measures passed unanimously and became effective immediately.

1. Moratorium on Evictions Ordinance ... prevents evictions, displacement, & late fees for currently-housed residents & small businesses ... who are unable to pay rent due to and during the Coronavirus Pandemic. No deadline is specified for the "Moratorium" except May 31 for commercial uses.

On first having access to the proposed ordinance, a set of questions was sent by OTU to the sponsors listing defects in the proposed ordinance. Most of OTU's recommendations were amended into the final ordinance as adopted.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the ordinance prohibits rent increases, late fees, residential & commercial evictions, and leaves open possible application to units protected by AB-1482.

2. Prohibition on "sweeps" (evictions) of encampments and vehicles used for habitation unless individual housing units or alternative shelter is provided.

The measure also recommends CDC guidelines to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, like tent spacing, hygiene facilities and 24-Hr toilet access, and handwashing apparatus for encampments of more than 10 people.

3. Requesting the City Administrator to acquire additional buildings, facilities, and supplies per the CDC guidelines for aid and housing for homeless residents ... and to seek reimbursement from the federal government.

4. Waives advertising and bidding requirements for City Administrator to award contract(s) for trash collection services for all homeless encampments ... and authorizes the City Administrator to seek reimbursement for costs from the federal government."

According to a March 27, 2020, report by the Bay Area News Group, in a quote about the eviction ban: Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney reminded her council colleagues of the saying: “When America gets a cold, black folks catch pneumonia.” She said she agreed with speakers’ concerns and wanted to advocate for more long-term solutions to housing and rental issues.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com

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FAQ - Details on Oakland's eviction moratoriumLynda CarsonMonday Mar 30th, 2020 4:06 PM
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