- Your Government
- City Departments
- City Manager
- Coronavirus Update
- COVID-19 Resources for Homeowners and Renters
COVID-19 Resources for Homeowners and Renters
HOMEOWNERS AND RENTERS
Events: Workshops and Webinars
MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS: CITY, COUNTY AND STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS (AS OF NOVEMBER 2022)
The City of El Cerrito Eviction Moratorium remains in place for El Cerrito residents/businesses through the duration of the Governor’s State of Emergency that will expire on February 28, 2023.
City of El Cerrito Temporary Moratorium on Evictions: On March 25, 2020, the City Council adopted a local Urgency Ordinance enacting a temporary eviction moratorium for residential and commercial tenants financially impacted by COVID-19. As of November 15, 2022, the City’s Ordinance is set to expire on February 28, 2023 which is the date that the Governor’s COVID-19 State of Emergency is set to end.
For El Cerrito residents, under State Law AB 2179, the repayment period for rent accrued through July 31, 2022 began on August 1, 2022 and under the City’s Ordinance, tenants have 6-months to repay this unpaid portion. For rent accrued between August 1, 2022 – February 28, 2023, under the City’s Ordinance the repayment period begins on March 1, 2023 and tenants will have 6-months to repay this unpaid portion.
Please note: The City does not provide legal advice and tenants/property owners are encouraged to consider contacting a lawyer or agency that provides rental housing counseling. The Contra Costa Housing Services Collaborative offers comprehensive housing services, including tenant/landlord counseling as well as fair housing services to County residents at no cost. For legal consultation or representation, consider contacting Centro Legal at 510-437-1554.
Need rental assistance? Please contact one of the agencies below to see if you may be eligible.
The Contra Costa County Eviction Moratorium Expires on September 30, 2021.
- Contra Costa County Moratorium on Evictions and Rent Increases: On June 22, 2021, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Urgency Ordinance No. 2021-20 that continues a temporary eviction moratorium for certain residential tenants and a moratorium on certain residential rent increases through September 30, 2021. The Urgency Ordinance also continues a temporary eviction moratorium for certain commercial tenants through September 30, 2021. Urgency Ordinance No. 2021-20 supersedes Ordinance No. 2021-11 and takes effect immediately. See Press Release (PDF) and Press Release Spanish (PDF): Contra Costa County Passes Ordinance to Extend Eviction Protection and Rent Freeze. See Urgency Ordinance No. 2021-20 (PDF) and Urgency Ordinance No. 2021-20 Spanish (PDF). Please visit the County’s website here for additional information.
The State of California Eviction Moratorium Expires on September 30, 2021.
State of California: The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act
In 2020, several new laws were established to assist households financially affected by COVID-19. On August 31, 2020, the Governor signed AB 3088: CA Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020, a statewide eviction moratorium that applies to residential tenants and small property owners through January 31, 2021. Subsequently, SB 91 - COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act - took effect on February 1, 2021, which extended and expanded the protections in AB 3088. Both laws, AB 3088 and SB 91, protects tenants with a COVID related financial impact from eviction for nonpayment of rent, including set requirements for unpaid rent starting in March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Additional action was taken by the Governor on June 28, 2021 through AB 832 – CA COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act – to extend AB 3088 and SB 91 through September 30, 2021 and includes some additional protections. It also protects tenants from "no cause" evictions, meaning an eviction where the landlord does not state a reason through October 1, 2021. There is information and links below to a variety of resources for both tenants and property owners available at www.housing.ca.gov.
As required by the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act, landlords are to provide various forms/notices depending on the rent payment period. Please visit https://housing.ca.gov/landlord/forms.html for more information.
Higher Income Tenants are households earning at least 130% of median income, as published by the Department of Housing & Community Development, may be required to provide documentation to support their declaration upon a landlord’s request. All household members, including minors, shall be considered in determining the household size.
Any unpaid rent between March 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020, is not grounds for eviction, but is still owed to the landlord and can be converted to consumer debt.
Any unpaid rent due between September 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021, is due unless the tenant is unable to pay due to COVID-19 hardship. In this case, tenants must provide the declaration of hardship to the landlord and pay an amount that equals at least 25% of the total rent by September 30, 2021, for rent that came due or will come due anytime during the period of September 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021. It is important for tenants to apply to the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program to be protected from eviction if you are unable to pay rent.
Links to Resources:
- COVID-19 Rent Relief: Need help with unpaid rent or utilities? Click here or call 833-430-2122.
- Housing is Key - Tenant Fact Sheet
- Housing is Key – Tenant Protection Guidelines
- Housing is Key - Homeowner/Landlord Protection Guidelines
- Housing is Key - Frequently Asked Questions
- Housing is Key - Declaration of COVID-19 Financial Related Distress
Additional forms, resources and guidelines can be accessed at Housing is Key by visiting www.housing.ca.gov.
To access AB 3088 and its full legal requirements, please visit the California Legislative Information website by clicking here.
Additional information regarding tenant protections is available at el-cerrito.org/tenantprotections
- Shelter Inc. – COVID 19 Hotline for County Residents at 925-349-0571
The SHELTER, Inc. COVID-19 hotline serves community members affected by the COVID-19 virus. These dedicated emergency funds are for those who are impacted during these trying times. This program, an expansion of their eviction prevention hotline, assists families who have lost income, increased expenses for safety precautions, and are at risk of losing their housing. Available assistance: Payment of past due rent, payment of current month's rent, payment of future months' rent, payment of outstanding utility bills, funds for food and necessities, funds for short-term emergency housing, referrals to other services.
Are you a veteran? SHELTER, Inc.’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) provides housing subsidies for veterans in Contra Costa County. The SSVF can cover monthly rent payments for a period of 24-months. Please call 925.957.7592 for assistance.
- Contra Costa Housing Services Collaborative: If you are a tenant, homeowner, or landlord in need of assistance, you are eligible to receive one-on-one counseling services through this County partnership. ECHO Housing has also received additional funding to assist with COVID-19 households in need of tenant/landlord counseling and related legal services for COVID-19-affected tenant households
- Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services launched the COVID- 19 Rapid Response Fund-Share that provides support to single-family households with minor children and/or seniors, who can demonstrate a COVID-19 financial hardship and are at risk of losing utility services. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come/first-serve basis and awards will be based on family size. To apply, please email email@example.com. Click here to view and print the application.
- Mortgage Payment Relief - some banks and mortgage companies are providing mortgage relief. Check with your mortgage company for details. Click here for details on how to apply for relief.
- Contra Costa Housing Services Collaborative: If you are a tenant, homeowner, or landlord in need of assistance, you are eligible to receive one-on-one counseling services through this County partnership.
- Contra Costa County Bar Association If you are in need of legal information or a lawyer referral, please schedule a consultation by contacting 925-825-5700 or click here.
- Contra Costa Crisis Center: The County’s 211 database provides a comprehensive, up-to-date, and free-of-charge database of local health and social services.
- Catholic Charities, Housing Services in Contra Costa County: If you are at-risk of losing your current housing or need help to move to more stable housing, then Catholic Charities might be able to help you with eviction prevention services including back rent, utility assistance and security deposits. Please dial (925) 825-3099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be screened for assistance.
- Contra Costa Senior Legal Services is a nonprofit agency that provides free legal services to County residents aged 60 or older. Please contact 925-609-7900 or email@example.com for assistance.
- United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Foreclosure Resources: If you are unable to make your mortgage payment, avoid foreclosure by speaking with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. Please contact one of the following local agencies: BALANCE 800.777.7526, ECHO Housing 855-ASK-ECHO or Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services 510-237-6459. You can also access the full list here or dial 800-569-4287 to locate a housing counseling agency in your area.
- Bay Area Legal Aid: Provides legal assistance to low-income County residents. Please contact their legal advice line at 800-551-5554.
- Housing and Economic Rights Advocates: HERA is California statewide, not-for-profit legal service and advocacy organization dedicated to helping Californians. Their staff provides free legal services, consumer workshops, training for professionals and community organizing and engage in policy work locally, statewide and nationally.
- The State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) may be able to provide income replacement for a variety of reasons during these difficult times. If you have been laid off, experienced a reduction in hours, sick/quarantined, caring for an ill/quarantined family member or your child’s school is closed you may be eligible for benefits. Governor Newsom recently waived the one-week unpaid waiting period and encourages those affected to file a claim as soon as possible to avoid a delay in benefits. Please visit the EDD website for more information: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
The CPUC shutoff moratorium ended on September 30, 2021.Qualified PG&E customers will be automatically enrolled in their COVID Relief Payment Plan to pay your balance over time. To learn more, click here.
Due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, EBMUD will continue to maintain full water service for residential customers who are delinquent on their bill. EBMUD has applied for and received funding for customers who are delinquent on their bills through the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program (CWAPP). This relief applies to households who fell behind on the water bill due to financial hardships related to the pandemic. When funding is received from the state, which is expected in February 2022, EBMUD will apply a credit directly to the customer’s account within 60 days. The CWAPP relief only covers bill debt between March 1, 2020 and June 15, 2021. For more information, click here.
Homeowners who may have fallen behind on housing payments due to COVID-19 financial hardship should visit the California Mortgage Relief Program website here or https://camortgagerelief.org/.
If you’re concerned about how to pay your mortgage or rent due to COVID-19, visit www.cfpb.gov/housing for more information and what your options are for mortgage relief.
If your ability to pay your mortgage is impacted, and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (use the "loan lookup" tools: https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup for Fannie Mae or https://loanlookup.freddiemac.com for Freddie Mac to find out), you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period, during which:
- You won’t incur late fees.
- Foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended
If you need additional information or have questions, please contact Aissia Ashoori, Housing Analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City also has a special webpage at www.el-cerrito.org/COVID19 which is a central clearinghouse for information related to City services and other resources related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. If you’d like to receive text or email updates about the City’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, please visit el-cerrito.org/notifyme. Sign in to subscribe to “Alert Center” for "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update.