SCRHA Legislative Update - June 10, 2020

Legislative Updates,

Update on Rental Housing Bills

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved several rental housing bills to the "suspense file," including SB 1190 (Durazo). The suspense file is a holding placing for bills with significant fiscal impacts. Bills are generally held on the suspense file before each fiscal deadline so that each House can evaluate the total impacts to the state. Bills that are moved out of suspense then go to the floor while bills held in suspense die. The process for getting a bill off of the suspense file is full of political horse trading between legislators, leadership, and the Appropriations Committee chair. Bills that move off of the suspense file are almost always moved off of suspense with amendments. The Senate Appropriations Committee will be taking-up suspense file bills Friday, June 18, 2020.

SB 1190 would expand existing law that allows tenants to terminate leases when they are victims of crime. However, of more concern is the language recently added that would allow local prosecutors to enforce AB 1482 and levy fines up to $20,000 for violations. SCRHA thanks members who sent messages to the Senate Appropriations Committee. We will report back if the bill comes off suspense and continues moving through the process.

SCRHA just got word yesterday that Assemblymember Chiu (author of AB 1482) plans to gut and amend a bill regarding CalWORKS so that it addresses non-payment of rent related to COVID-19 and repayment of rent specifics. While the amendments are not yet in print, AB 1436 will be amended to prohibit a landlord from using a security deposit or monthly rent for any other obligations that accrued within 90-days after the termination of the state of emergency.

It will also propose giving tenants up to 15 months after the termination of the state of emergency to repay past-due rent. For any default in rent during or 90-days after the state emergency is terminated, a landlord can pursue the debt, however, they will have to submit documentation regarding any mortgage forgiveness, relief payments, property tax reduction and the like. In any subsequent judgement, the courts would be required to reduce the repayment amount to account for financial relief attributable to the rental unit. SCRHA will keep members updated.

San Diego Pool Guidance

The County has issued guidance in advance of pools being allowed to re-open. Pools may re-open as soon as this Friday, June 12, provided that operators follow the county’s guidance. Click here to learn more.

City of San Diego Budgets $15M for Rental Assistance

After a hearing that went past midnight this past Monday, the City Council approved a budget that includes $15 million for a Rental Assistance Program. While not nearly the $60 million that Councilmember Ward’s office recommended, it is a slight bump over the $10 million that the Mayor proposed. SCRHA will keep members posted once the program is up and running. As proposed, tenants would apply for assistance and payments would go directly to owners or managers. Read more.