The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a temporary moratorium on evictions in the unincorporated parts of the county through Sept. 30.
According to Supervisor John Leopold, the County first approved an eviction moratorium in May, when the county saw 8,000 new requests for unemployment benefits after Covid-19 forced businesses throughout the county to close.
That ended May 31, and at that time a similar statewide rule protected renters. That moratorium will end Sept. 1, Leopold said, which prompted the action by the county.
“That doesn’t mean that the crisis has gone away,” he said. “It is our hope … that action in the state legislature will create a statewide response for people to stay in their homes, the best tool to prevent homelessness in the state of California.”
The moratorium is not a rent holiday. Renters will be responsible for paying the rent they owe when the moratorium has ended.
Supervisor Zach Friend added an amendment that directs county staff to study a payment plan, which would give renters a 6- or 12-month repayment option.
“I think the concern as we all know is that at the end of the moratorium you end up with a balloon payment that really makes it pretty infeasible for people,” Friend said.
The moratorium expires on Sept. 30. It prevents evictions for people experiencing financial losses associated with Covid-19.