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Posted on: April 3, 2020

City of Arcata & State of California COVID-19 Tenant Protection Programs

COVID-19 Tenant Protection Programs

City of Arcata & State of California COVID-19 Tenant Protection Programs

The City of Arcata, the State of California and Humboldt County have temporary measures in place to support tenants who have lost income due to COVID-19. These programs are available to renters currently residing in Arcata and incorporated areas of Humboldt County. You will find an overview of the programs below.

Please be advised, Arcata tenants are strongly encouraged to make any affordable payment toward rent each month. Both tenant protection programs require that all back-due rent payments be made to the landlord in the future.

Arcata Urgency Ordinance No. 1532 

UPDATED: Extension of Arcata Urgency Ordinance No.1533

Who is Covered?  

  • Individuals who can demonstrate the inability to pay rent due to impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible.

  • If there are multiple residents or roommates in a unit who pay a portion of the rent, each roommate who needs protection for their portion of the rent under the Ordinance must show individual documentation of their inability to pay due to COVID-19.

  • Residential (including mobilehome space renters) and commercial tenants are covered by Arcata’s Ordinance. 

What is Required?

  • The tenant must provide written notice to the landlord before the rent was due.

  • The tenant must provide a simultaneous email notification to the City at citymgr@cityofarcata.org.

  • If there are multiple tenants, each tenant who is requesting coverage must be listed in the notification. 

  • The tenant must provide the landlord with verification that they (and their co-signer if applicable) experienced a substantial decrease in household or business income caused by:

  • A layoff due to COVID-19.

  • A reduction in the number of paid hours of work due to COVID-19.

  • Substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses as a result of COVID-19.

  • A substantial decrease in business income caused by a reduction in opening hours or consumer demand due to COVID-19.

  • A substantial decrease in household or business income caused by the need to provide childcare due to school closures or to care for an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • The decrease in household or business income or the out-of-pocket medical expenses was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19.

What Kind of Documentation is Required?

There are many types of documentation renters may provide based on individual experience. 

Tenants must review their specific situation and provide information that accurately documents their income loss in connection to COVID-19, such as a note from a doctor requiring self-isolation or quarantine, a notice from an employer showing a layoff, or documents that were used to apply for unemployment, pay stubs, bank statements, etc.

All documents must:

  • Demonstrate that the decrease in household or business income has not been adequately offset by unemployment insurance, a government COVID-19 stipend, a government-sponsored loan or grant financing, or similar COVID-19 financial support.

  • Provide proof of payment of the portion of rent that each tenant is able to pay. 

  • Each tenant requesting partial or full rent deferral must comply with and provide individual documentation.

What Deferral is Allowed Under the Extended Ordinance?

  • Rent due between Thursday, March 26, 2020 and Friday, July 31, 2020 may be deferred by individuals who can demonstrate the inability to pay rent due to impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Arcata’s Ordinance originally expired on Sunday, May 31, 2020, but the ordinance has been extended through Friday, July 31.

  • The tenant has 90-days after Friday, July 31, 2020 (or until Thursday, October 29, 2020) to pay all back-due rent in full.

  • A landlord may not charge or collect a late fee for any delayed rent payments made pursuant to this Urgency Ordinance.

State of California Executive Order N-37-20

On Friday, March 27, Governor Newsom took Executive Action to protect renters throughout the State of California. The executive order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts.

This order requires tenants to declare in writing that all or part of the rent cannot be paid due to COVID-19, no more than seven days after the rent is due. These protections are effective immediately and extend through Sunday, May 31, 2020.

Some things that renters should understand about these new protections are:

  • If you can pay your rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should. The new protections don’t excuse renters from back paying on rent or being evicted after Sunday, May 31, 2020.

  • If you can’t pay your rent due to COVID-19, let your landlord know by text, email or letter no later than seven days after rent was due.

  • Save a copy of the text, email or letter with proof of when you sent it.

  • Be sure to include documentation of why you can’t pay your rent. (For example, you might have a doctor’s note showing you were ill with the virus and needed to stay home, or a letter from your employer showing that you were laid off due to COVID-19.)

  • Continue to gather documentation during the non-payment period to support your deferral. 

  • If you receive an eviction notice during the COVID-19 pandemic, please do not ignore it. You can reach out to Legal Services of Northern California or the Humboldt Superior Court for more help.

Humboldt County Urgency Ordinance 2642: COVID-19 Eviction Defense Ordinance

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors passed an Ordinance prohibiting residential evictions through Sunday, May 31, 2020 for unpaid rent or for a no-fault eviction. The County Board of Supervisors established this Ordinance as an affirmative defense against residential evictions that applies throughout the unincorporated area of the County of Humboldt. Please click here and here to learn more.

If you are a resident of an unincorporated area of Humboldt County, please visit humboldtgov.org or send an email to covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or call 707-441-5000 for more information.

 Legal Assistance in Humboldt County

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Humboldt County Legal Services of Northern California office in Eureka is no longer taking walk-in clients. You can contact them by phone at 707-445-0866 or click here for more information.

Click here to find a printable overview of the COVID-19 Tenant Protection Programs, and please email citymgr@ctyofarcata.org or call 707-822-5953 for more information.

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