Mayor Breed’s order brings changes for evictions during Coronavirus pandemic

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The Crusader Staff

San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s executive order prohibits evictions for late rent payments.

Antonio Nuñez ’22, Staff Reporter

On Aug. 25, Mayor Breed extended her Executive Order that no tenants in San Francisco should be evicted during the coronavirus pandemic. The order lasts until January 31, 2021, and is in effect to help and protect people who lost wages because of the coronavirus.

The executive order states a landlord can’t charge the tenant late fees, the tenant has six months to pay their missed rent, and the tenant’s rent cannot be increased if they live in a city-regulated unit, or if they live in a rent controlled unit. 

Some want to know if there is a limit as to how much the order can protect a resident.  Noni Richen from the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute responded with, “The Mayor’s order suspended (but did not prevent) evictions for nonpayment of rent. San Francisco’s Ordinance 93-20 (a law that is passed by our legislature and approved by the Mayor, as opposed to merely being an emergency order of the Mayor) permanently eliminated the ability of a landlord to evict for nonpayment of rent for the emergency period forever.” The Conflict Intervention Service also said that, “The order does not prevent evictions due to violence or threats of violence.”

The reason Mayor Breed has created this series of orders is to help people who are at risk of losing their home. Mayor Breed’s plan recognizes how tenants might run into financial issues if they’re out of work, laid off, or if they have increased expenses, and helps those people. 

Not everyone sees this as a positive move. The order is positive for the tenants and the economy of San Francisco by the tenants getting a chance to pay their rent, lessen the worry of paying the bills, and providing for themselves, but it has a negative effect on landlords who will struggle.

Richen stated, “However, in the short term, these laws take money directly out of the pockets of property owners who usually have mortgages and definitely have to pay property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance costs. No local or state law has yet provided anything for housing providers as a compensation for these boons to their tenants. In the long term, this is completely untenable.”

The Mayor’s order positively impacts the economy overall because “more San Franciscans spending more money in the local economy in the long term, and the lower vacancy rates will keep rental housing prices high (because of supply and demand),” said Richen. 

The future could hold either Mayor Breed adapting the laws to help everyone, or keeping the laws the same. If the virus were to end in about a year, this would bring along the end of shelter in place orders along with this new evictions order.