Eviction notice

An eviction notice hangs on a tenant's door at a Chestnut Avenue apartment in Long Beach on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

Renters in Long Beach whose income has been impacted by the coronavirus will likely see at least two more months of relief.

The City Council voted unanimously at its Tuesday, July 14, meeting to direct the City Attorney to amend the city’s eviction moratorium — which prohibits commercial and residential landlords from evicting tenants due to nonpayment — by extending it through Sept. 30. The ban is currently set to expire July 31.

The item will have to come back to the council for another vote before the extension is official.

Along with the direction to lengthen the ban, which first went into effect in March, the council voted to draft letters to state and federal officials to urge them to forgive mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think it certainly brings some relief to both sides,” Councilman Daryl Supernaw said, “if we could at least make this request.”

Council members said that the need to extend the eviction ban was made even more clear on Monday, July 13, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that more businesses across the state would be forced to shut down because of the growing number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

“I’ve gotten so many calls from all of the business owners throughout the district that are just so distraught with this newest order,” First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas said.

She said it’s not clear when the public-health crisis may end.

“I think that with everything happening in our county and around the nation,” Zendejas added, “that we’re only in the midst of this crisis, and that really concerns me a lot.”

With so much uncertainty, Zendejas and her colleagues said, providing more relief to residents can soften the blow.

“We know that this week, the government has shut down more businesses,” Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce said. “More people are going back on unemployment, and the situation is not exactly what it was a week ago.”

Inclusionary Housing

The Long Beach City Council also voted unanimously to move forward with a policy known as inclusionary housing to spur the construction of housing units for the city’s low-income residents.

The City Attorney will draft an ordinance laying out the policy to bring back to the council at a later date. The plan approved by the City Council would go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Under the policy, developers of new rental projects with at least 10 units would have to set aside 11% of the units for people with very low incomes, which would be $56,300 or less for a four-person household.

In projects meant for homeownership, like condos or townhouses, 10% would have to be set aside for those with moderate incomes, which would be $92,700 or less for a four-person household.

But those requirements would not apply to all new housing developments in the city.

State law prohibits cities from implementing inclusionary housing policies if their requirements would be burdensome to new development. Because of that, Long Beach staff had to study the potential impact of different policies on new construction.

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