Marin Approves COVID-19 Relief Fund, Eviction Ban

Board Approves COVID-19 Relief Fund, Eviction Ban- County efforts aimed at helping our most vulnerable populations

The resolution requires renters and lease holders to notify their landlord within 30 days after the rent is due that they are unable to pay because of financial impacts related to COVID-19. A landlord may seek payment of unpaid rent after the expiration of the local emergency, but may not charge late fees.

In actions directed toward the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Marin County Board of Supervisors on March 24 approved a $1 million new local relief fund partnership with Marin Community Foundation (MCF), and the Board also enacted a ban on tenant evictions.

The County of Marin and nonprofit MCF teamed up to create a $1 million fund to assist vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 response, splitting the contributions evenly. The County’s $500,000 allocation will come from its General Fund to address some of the most urgent safety-net needs for local residents.

The fund will be allocated over the next two months to soften the social and economic impacts of the pandemic with five main efforts:

  • Emergency rental assistance for low-income residents
  • Expanded food for economically disadvantaged families
  • Expanded meals for seniors
  • Wi-Fi mobile access for economically disadvantaged students
  • Emergency childcare for health care workers and emergency responders

County staff plans to work as quickly as possible to distribute the funds. The Board of Supervisors will utilize nonprofit partners to fully implement the assistance.

The eviction resolution prevents County residents and business owners from being evicted because of a sudden loss of income tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. The moratorium will be in effect until May 31. The resolution applies to all of Marin, including cities, towns, and unincorporated areas.

The resolution, authored by the Marin Community Development Agency, provides temporary protection to renters and commercial lease holders whose residency and businesses may be jeopardized by the loss of income related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The County’s resolution states that if a residential tenant or commercial small business lease holder has not made a timely rent payment that was due on or after March 24, the landlord cannot evict if the tenant provides notice within 30 days after the rent was due that they are unable to pay because of financial impacts related to COVID-19. A landlord may seek payment of unpaid rent after the expiration of the local emergency, but may not charge late fees.

On March 18, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to implement an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for 60 days.

Financial impacts include having a substantial loss of household income because of a business closure, a loss of work hours or wages, layoffs, or extraordinary out-of-the pocket medical expenses related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 is causing, and is expected to continue to cause, serious negative impacts on the Marin economy and to residents. Additionally, with Marin’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing, some residents are at high risk for homelessness, and in turn, less equipped to mitigate the risks associated with the virus.

You may view a copy of the updated information by clicking here.

UPDATED 3/25/2020 1:51 pm:

On March 24, 2020 the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved an emergency resolution to prevent residents and business owners from being evicted because of a sudden loss of income tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. This ban is in effect countywide in every city, town, and unincorporated area of Marin County and lasts until May 31, 2020, unless extended by the Board of Supervisors.

The resolution requires renters and lease holders to notify their landlord within 30 days after the rent is due that they are unable to pay because of financial impacts related to COVID-19. A landlord may seek payment of unpaid rent after the expiration of the local emergency, but may not charge late fees.

County staff are working to draft FAQs and sample language for renters to use to notify their landlords. All materials are being translated into Spanish and Vietnamese and will be available on the Marin Community Development Agency’s Renter and Landlord Resources webpage. Documents will be posted as they become available.

In addition, the County of Marin is partnering with the Marin Community Foundation to create a $1 million local relief fund. The fund will be administered by the Marin Health and Human Services and is designed to provide:

  • Emergency rental assistance for low-income residents;
  • Expanded food for economically disadvantaged families;
  • Expanded meals for seniors;
  • Wi-Fi mobile access for economically disadvantaged students; and
  • Emergency childcare for health care workers and emergency responders.

If you have questions about the emergency ban on evictions contact Housing and Federal Grants Division staff by email or telephone at 415-473-7309.

Posted by Melanie Nathan

 Melanie Nathan
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