CAN'T PAY YOUR RENT? DO NOT MOVE OUT! YOU CANNOT BE EVICTED!
In the midst of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), many people are sick; many are out of work or on reduced pay; companies have closed or eliminated hours; unemployment subsidies have run out; the stimulus checks have long been spent; and countless people are struggling just to survive or are moving because they anticipate eviction due to their temporary inability to pay rent. In response to these very real concerns, eviction moratoriums for non-payment of rent have been enacted by the City of Oakland, Alameda County, the State of California, and the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The Oakland eviction moratorium provides the strongest protections for Oakland tenants with Just Cause for Eviction coverage.
Under the Oakland Eviction Moratorium, which remains in effect until the Local Emergency is over, you cannot be evicted for almost any reason if your tenancy is covered by Oakland’s Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance. You also cannot have your rent raised beyond 2.7% (the Consumer Price Index, or “CPI”) if your unit is covered by the Rent Adjustment Ordinance. You cannot be charged late fees.
Oakland tenants not covered under Just Cause (buildings constructed after 1995) are still covered by the Alameda County Eviction Moratorium — which is very similar to Oakland's moratorium.
For additional information, review these FAQ resources to more fully understand your rights and eligibility under the Oakland and Alameda County eviction moratoria:
Have you lost income due to COVID and are behind on rent or need help paying utilities? You may qualify for rent relief funds if you owe rent that you could not pay during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your rent debt could be entirely cancelled if your landlord agrees to participate in the rent relief program. You can also apply for help paying your utility bills and to receive some rent assistance going forward.
Send this letter (drafted by ACCE) to your landlord informing them of your rights and explaining that you want them to apply for rental assistance. If your landlord agrees to apply they may receive 80% of the rent that you owe. The remaining 20% will be forgiven. If your landlord refuses to apply and you qualify, then you can apply for 25% of the rent you owe.
As of March 15th, landlords and tenants can apply for rent relief through the state of California’s Housing is Key website. To see if you qualify, visit this website.
If you and your landlord do not apply via the Housing is Key website, and you are a very low-income tenant, you may still receive rental assistance via Oakland's Keep Oakland Housed Emergency Rental Assistance Program. To qualify for the Oakland program, you must make less than 50% of the AMI ($65,250 for a family of four). If you do not qualify for the Keep Oakland Housed Program, you can still apply for assistance through the Housing Is Key Website if you meet their criteria.
If you have further questions about the eviction moratoria or rent assistance programs, contact the OTU helpline or seek free legal help. Legal Assistance:
Centro Legal de la Raza: (510) 437-1554
East Bay Community Law Center: (510) 548-4040, ext. 629
Eviction Defense Center: (510) 452-4541
Bay Area Legal Aid: (888) 382-3405
Legal Assistance for Seniors: (510) 832-3040
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach: (510) 251-2846
Oakland Tenants Union (OTU) Hotline: (510) 704-5276
Causa Justa Just Cause Tenant Hotline: (510) TENANTS (836-2687)
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE): (510) 269-4692