By Silicon Valley Rising Action
No matter our ZIP code or skin color, having a safe, stable place to call home is a basic human need, especially as we shelter in place during this pandemic.
Yet COVID-19 has cost thousands of people in Santa Clara County — especially Black and Latinx people working in industries that pay low wages — the jobs and income they depend on to make rent.
A new study by Working Partnerships USA and Silicon Valley Law Foundation finds Santa Clara County is facing an “eviction time-bomb” — in the months after the current eviction ban ends, landlords could kick over 43,000 families (many Black, Latinx, and undocumented) out of their homes.
Santa Clara County’s eviction moratorium means families cannot be evicted now, but the moratorium is set to end August 31 and tenants must still pay that back rent over the twelve months after the moratorium is lifted. That bill that could run roughly $7,000 for three months without income for the average renter household — far more than many families could possibly afford to pay back so quickly while also keeping up with their already too high rents.
The findings show that when the back rent comes due, landlords (primarily big corporations and wealthy investors) could push thousands of families out of their homes. This could more than double homelessness across the County. Unless policymakers take action, we’re facing a scenario of crushing debt, mass evictions, and a surge in homelessness.
To defuse the eviction time-bomb, we need our elected leaders to put people first — prioritize our public health and racial justice over the profits of big landlord corporations that are getting generous aid from the federal government. First and foremost, we need the Board of Supervisors to extend the Eviction Moratorium throughout the emergency, and permanently prohibit landlords from evicting tenants who are unable to repay back rent due to loss of income from COVID-19.
The Eviction Time Bomb report can be found on the Working Partnership USA website.