Assemblymember Chiu Statement on COVID-19 Eviction Prevention Legislation

Friday, August 28, 2020

Assemblymember David Chiu (D - San Francisco) today issued the following statement after Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leadership announced details of Assembly Bill 3088, a compromise policy to prevent evictions in the wake of COVID-19:

“What the Governor and legislative leadership have announced today is an imperfect but necessary solution to a colossal problem. 

When we introduced AB 1436, we set out to ensure that Californians unable to pay rent during the pandemic were protected from eviction. While the bill’s original protections have been scaled back, the spirit of that policy remains in the final product announced today.

What is being proposed in AB 3088 will hopefully prevent or delay the evictions of many tenants. However, it pains me that this will not stop every eviction, and tenants will face challenges well beyond non-payment of rent that this proposal did not address.

There is much more I wanted to see in this bill, much more that I fought for during the negotiations, and much more needed to truly protect renters in California. But, through the course of negotiations, it became clear that the choice was not between this proposal and a stronger one. The choice was between this proposal and nothing. 

Given that reality, it is imperative that AB 3088 is passed and signed into law before the courts resume hearing all eviction cases on September 2. The consequences of not doing so are too dire to comprehend.  

I want to be clear that this is a temporary fix. As we track the impact of the pandemic and recession on tenants, we will have to revisit this conversation early next legislative session.  Fortunately, the policy announced today provides some time for that to happen. 

Furthermore, the federal government must step up. States cannot fix this on their own. It is our profound hope that a new federal administration will provide economic relief for struggling tenants and landlords -- the ultimate solution to this problem. 

I want to thank the hundreds of tenant, labor, and progressive organizations who have fought with us to keep California’s 17 million renters housed. Our work is not done. We will be back.”

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