City Council considers freezing evictions, utility late fees

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) — The San Diego City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday to ratify Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s state of emergency declaration and act on a package of legislation to help lessen the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on San Diego’s most at-risk residents.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is already causing harm throughout our communities and across our regional economy, impacting vulnerable families, individuals, and businesses,” Councilwoman and City Council president Georgette Gomez said. “We must act immediately to protect those who most are at risk of devastating financial hardship.”

To extend a state of emergency declaration to 30 days, the mayor must submit it to the city council for ratification. Faulconer declared a state of emergency on March 12.

Gomez will ask the council to advance the following proposals:

  • Request that the mayor and the city attorney, along with the San Diego Housing Commission, evaluate and present proposals to implement a temporary moratorium on residential evictions due to non-payment of rent resulting from lost wages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Request that the Housing Commission present proposals to the council placing a temporary moratorium on evictions and mortgage foreclosures for property owned by the Housing Authority or SDHC due to non-payment of rent or mortgages stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic

Gomez’ proposals also include enforcing earned sick leave, freezing business tax collections, freezing utility shut offs and late fees, establishing temporary relief funding for city workers laid off or furloughed and opening hotel rooms to unsheltered people in the city.

The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. at Golden Hall.

Gomez represents District 9 in the city council. In September 2019, she announced her candidacy to represent California’s 53rd congressional district.

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