California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Monday evening that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slow foreclosures and protect against utility shut-offs in response to COVID-19, colloquially known as the coronavirus.
Unless extended, the protections allowed under the order are in effect until May 31. The order comes as Californians are experiencing COVID-19-related loss of hours, loss of wages and layoffs that affect their ability to pay rent, mortgages and utility bills.
The order also asks that banks and other financial institutions halt foreclosures and related evictions while the order is in place.
The order, however, does not relieve a tenant from their obligation to pay rent, nor does it restrict a landlord’s ability to recover rent.
“People shouldn’t lose or be forced out of their home because of the spread of COVID-19,” Newsom said in a press release. “Over the next few weeks, everyone will have to make sacrifices – but a place to live shouldn’t be one of them.”
Check here for live updates on the COVID-19 situation in Berkeley.