CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION-TV) A sign or relief for many residents across the Central Coast as the Biden administration extends the federal eviction moratorium for another month.
The eviction ban originally set to expire in 6 days and is now extended until July 31st. More than six million American households are still behind on rent payments.
Carmen Garcia, a Capitola resident and a single mother of two said the pandemic has affected her tremendously. After losing her job, Garcia found herself stuck with a pile of bills including her rent.
“I thought how are we going to get out of this. We had to ask family and friends to try to raise enough to pay rent," said Garcia. "But it's still impossible to pay everything owed.”
Garcia is three months behind on rent and owes about four thousand dollars. However, she isn't the only one, several other tenants in her building are behind as well, she said. Garcia has applied for rental assistance and is waiting for a response. Although the state has not extended the moratorium, Garcia said she’s relieved to hear that the federal moratorium has been extended.
“I feel relieved. I get to breathe a little. The fact that you’re not thinking that you have a few days left before getting evicted, and then they tell you you have another month," said Garcia. "You feel relieved, you don’t have that burden, just for a moment.”
Her landlord has been supportive throughout this process and, although landlords can be supportive they are also impacted. Monterey Bay Property Management Managing Broker Jan Leasure said her landlords are also empathetic because they are also being hit financially.
"Not having rent means that they don't have income or one of their primary assets," said Leasure. "Of course, they still have mortgages to pay. They still have property taxes to pay, and they still need to maintain the properties.”
Some landlords had to sell their properties because they simply couldn’t afford to keep them, she said.
But al the moratorium created some loopholes for some tenants.
"Some take advantage of the situation and just stop paying rent," said Leasure. "Just because they could, not because they needed to stop paying rent, or because they lost their job. But just because the structure of the eviction
moratorium allowed tenants to take advantage of the situation.”