Renters in Long Beach whose income has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can stay in their homes for two more months without worrying about evictions due to nonpayment.
The City Council voted unanimously at its Tuesday, Aug. 4, meeting to extend its current eviction ban through Sept. 30.
Renters, though, must still pay back any missed rent by the end of July 2021.
The panel first gave direction to the City Attorney to draft an extension of the ban last month, but the ordinance had to come back for approval.
The prohibition on evictions due to nonpayment, which applies to both residential and commercial tenants, was first approved in March as the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic became clear.
At that time, the ban was set to last through May 31, but the City Council has since voted on two extensions.
Although council members debated at first whether to attach certain strings to the prohibition — like requiring renters to pay back missed rent in scheduled installments — the council ultimately decided to avoid such stipulations.
Council members also considered whether tenants should be required to pay some portion of the rent due based on whatever income they have available. That idea was also nixed; instead, the ordinance will include language suggesting that tenants should pay what they can — even if it’s not legally required.
“I don’t think we can quantify everyone’s situation,” Vice Mayor Dee Andrews said when the ban was first approved, “because this is about compassion. I think keeping people in their homes is what this should be about.”