‘This is about survival’: California tenants plan rent strikes as Covid-19 relief falls short

Renters say governor’s emergency eviction protections leave many behind and that the only option is to withhold money.

News Story (California)

Sam Levin
Guardian
March 31, 2020
READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Tags: CoronaVirus, COVID-19, Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Law Foundation of Silicon Valley (San Jose)


DETAILS

“It includes a lot of ways for tenants to trip up,” said Michael Trujillo, staff attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley’s housing program, adding, “The governor has the power right now to just prohibit all evictions.”

In a state where many workers have to divert a significant portion of their paychecks to rent, activists have called for a complete moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and a statewide suspension of rent, meaning a rent freeze or forgiveness so that tenants do not wind up with insurmountable debts.

“For some, the decision is pay rent and starve, or don’t pay rent and pay for food,” said Chris Estrada, an organizer with the Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action, which has fielded calls from dozens of tenants who don’t have the cash to pay this week. For many others, he said, the reality is, “‘If we pay April, will I starve in May?’”