California may be emerging from the pandemic, but the impacts remain devastating for our lowest-income residents. And without action to extend the eviction moratorium set to expire on June 30, we could see tens-of-thousands of vulnerable residents pushed from their homes in the months ahead.
The Eviction Time Bomb
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System and its network of non-profit partners have helped distribute $38.4 million in rent/financial assistance to close to 15,000 at-risk households throughout Santa Clara County.
Yet, sadly, we continue to see thousands of new families in crisis.
In just the past month alone, another 1,500 extremely low income households have requested assistance through our Homelessness Prevention System – with the average family making roughly $20,000 in annual income and now facing $8,000 in back rent. We’ve seen applications from residents of almost every city in Santa Clara County, and ⅓ of them live in five highly-impacted and underserved East San Jose zip codes that have borne the brunt of the pandemic. Just over 90% of these new applicants are people of color.
In addition, roughly 3,000 Santa Clara County households have applied for rent assistance through the State’s Rent Relief program since March, and altogether, Policy Link estimates that there are 30,000 households behind on rent in our community.
Thanks to the large infusion of Emergency Rental Assistance funding from the federal government, we have the resources available to help these vulnerable families and individuals, but we need more time to respond to the huge volume of requests for assistance. The Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System is continuing to disburse assistance to families. And after a slow start, we’re told the State rent relief program has begun to accelerate its application processing and payment delivery in the past few weeks.
California needs more time to reach the tens-of-thousands of families in-need.
Destination: Home has joined with a coalition of community partners in calling for the moratorium to be extended until the end-of-the-year along with other key provisions that will protect the most vulnerable tenants in our community.
Please join us in writing our State, County and City leaders urging them to extend eviction protections currently in place for tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic:
- State elected representatives
- Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
- Your local Mayor & City Councilmembers (San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Gilroy, Sunnyvale)
The State is best positioned to extend these crucial protections, set to expire June 30, but our local leaders have the responsibility to act if that doesn’t happen.
Extending these protections will:
- Provide the runway needed to deploy the hundreds-of-millions of dollars in federal rent relief funding allocated to our community
- Keep thousands of vulnerable families in their homes
- Prevent seeing more struggling households evicted into homelessness
The threat is real. Our partners at Catholic Charities recently shared that 25 of 88 families they helped apply for State rent relief have now received eviction notices. And without further legislative action will see thousands more pushed to the streets in the weeks ahead.
We also hope you’ll join us and speak in support of an eviction moratorium extension at the June 22 Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and San Jose City Council meetings (view links to their respective meeting agendas: County of Santa Clara & City of San Jose).
We must come together now to ensure that ALL members of our community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Please join us in ensuring that we extend key eviction protections.
Upcoming Organizing Meeting
In advance of those meetings, we are hosting a Housing Ready Communities virtual organizing meeting on June 21 at 6:30pm for folks interested in learning more and taking action together.
Please sign up online or email us to RSVP.