School leaders ask for extension on eviction ban as kids prepare to learn from home

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — Leaders for San Diego Unified School District are calling on city government to extend a ban on evictions that has protected renters during the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The school leaders are asking City Council to extend the moratorium on removing those who can’t make rent until the end of March 2021. The council will discuss a proposed extension — brought forward by Council President Georgette Gomez — on Tuesday.

Most city schools are aiming to start virtual classes next month, and district officials say children having a safe place to call home while taking the classes is imperative.

“We know our families are some of the hardest working people in San Diego, and they should not lose their homes because they have lost their jobs due to a national recession caused by a global pandemic,” school board President John Lee Evans said.

In June, city leaders voted to extend an eviction ban until the end of September. But with cases rising and renewed restrictions on businesses again threatening the economy, advocates say renters should have more time to back-pay what they owe to landlords and management companies without threat of losing their home.

Under the current moratorium, renters and small businesses cannot be evicted if they notify their landlord in writing, on or before the day the rent is due, that they are unable to pay. They have one week after notification to provide proof that their financial hardship is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Landlords and tenants are encouraged to work out a payment plan on their own.

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