On Jan. 29, Governor Newsome signed legislation to extend the state’s residential eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. Senate Bill 91 extended the eviction moratorium that was set to expire on Jan. 31, 2021. SB 91 pauses evictions for residential tenants who declare, under the penalty of perjury, an inability to pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19 related reasons. Although tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to property owners, those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for eviction, even after the moratorium ends. 

SB 91 also establishes the State Rental Assistance Program (Program) to allocate the $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance that California will receive from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The state also allocated additional state funding to the Program through SB 89. The Program will target aid to income-qualified tenants with unpaid back rent that are most at-risk. Financial assistance also will be extended to property owners that agree to waive 20 percent of unpaid rent. The program will begin accepting applications from tenants and property owners in March, and local agencies, like Santa Barbara County, can choose to administer their own programs.Read the Governor’s press release at http://bit.ly/36S0ZvF.