To prevent this, the Raise the Roof Coalition calls on the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors to take immediate action to protect tenants and stabilize the community.
Concord, CALIFORNIA (July 10, 2020) Raise the Roof– a coalition of community, labor, and faith groups working to bring good jobs, immigrant protections, and affordable housing to the City of Concord and Contra Costa County- has teamed up with the Bay Area Equity Atlas to create a new analysis of the coming wave of evictions looming over local residents. The Bay Area Equity Atlas report found that 12,000 renter households, including 10,400 children, are at imminent risk of eviction if the County fails to take further action. An additional 9,500 households could be at risk of eviction once the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program ends at the end of July.
On July 14th, the Board of Supervisors will review Contra Costa County’s eviction moratorium. Given the high numbers of residents at risk of losing their homes indicated in this report, the Raise the Roof Coalition calls on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to:
- Extend the moratorium until 90 days after the current state of emergency ends.
- Prohibit evictions for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 by converting missed rent to consumer debt, as is the case in Alameda and San Francisco Counties.
- Increase financial assistance and legal services for low-income tenants in order to keep residents housed and safe.
- Commit to longer-term proven solutions such as local rent control, a rent and eviction registry, and just cause eviction protections for tenancies not covered by AB 1482.
Contra Costa saw a 65% weekly increase in COVID-19 infections as of July 7th, the worst surge among the six Bay Area counties coordinating to fight COVID-19. It also has the worst unemployment rate, at 13.6% as of May 2020. This is a dangerous situation for the one-third of households that are renters, since they’re more likely to be essential workers or out of work, lacking income and savings, and unable to pay rent. Still, Contra Costa has weaker emergency tenant protections than each of the other six counties, except Marin.
The county’s tens of thousands of undocumented and mixed-status families may be most at risk, since they were denied the financial relief given to their neighbors through the federal CARES Act. This threat of eviction could force many into homelessness and is an urgent matter of racial and immigrant justice. Decades of housing and employment discrimination in this historically exclusionary areas have ensured that Black, Latinx, and immigrant communities are much more likely to be renters, economically insecure, and pay too much of their limited income on rent. The coalition calls on the Board of Supervisors to review the report and take the steps needed to stabilize our communities by preventing an unnecessary wave of evictions and spike in homelessness in Contra Costa County.
“In September, our rent will be raised to $1,695. My husband’s work laid off 75% of their workers. I am worried every day that he will be laid off too and we will be unable to stay in our home”. – Veronica Alvarado, Concord, CA
“When I informed my property manager that I would not be able to pay rent for the month of May, she tried to get me to sign a payment agreement plan. She threatened me with eviction when I said I wouldn’t sign it.” – Alma Jimenez, Concord, CA
“Our analysis reveals the magnitude of coming evictions on the horizon if the county’s moratorium is not extended, with thousands of renters who’ve already lost their jobs and livelihoods during the pandemic at risk of losing their homes. This is also a critical equity issue, since the county’s Black, Latinx, and immigrant residents disproportionately rent and already faced rising rents and stagnant wages.” – Jamila Henderson, PolicyLink
East Bay Housing Organizations is a member-driven organization working to preserve, protect, and create affordable housing opportunities for low-income communities in the East Bay.
Raise the Roof Coalition brings together Concord renters, homeowners, workers, faith-leaders, and supporters who are working to bring good jobs, immigrant protections, and affordable housing to our City. Members include ACCE, California Nurses Association, Central
Labor Council Contra Costa County-AFL-CIO, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, East Bay Housing Organizations, Ensuring Opportunity, First Five/Central County Regional Group, Lift Up Contra Costa, Monument Impact, and Tenants Together.
For more information, contact Grover Wehman-Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-949-2038.