Housing group calls for moratorium on evictions

Posted on March 17, 2020 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The Sonoma Valley Housing Group has called on the Sonoma City Council and the County Board of Supervisors to declare moratoriums on evictions brought about as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

Letters to that effect were sent Monday to city council members, city manager Cathy Capriola, and Supervisor Susan Gorin, current BOS chairwoman.

In the letters, the SVHG noted that San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Sacramento are all taking steps to pass moratoriums on eviction and that community groups in Santa Rosa are asking that city council to do so, too.

Meeting on Sunday by video conference, the SVHG also decided to add its voice to the statewide housing advocacy group, Tenants Together, in calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to issue a California-wide eviction moratorium.

Local Sonoma Valley volunteers — groups and individuals have played major roles during recent emergencies. Recognizing that, the SVHG decided that its responsibility  is to publicize people’s housing needs during the crisis and suggest ways to solve them.

The Housing Group noted that, during the 2017 fires many families who lived paycheck to paycheck had no income for two weeks or more, from which some have yet to recover. This was particularly true for Latino families in the Springs, who did not know where to turn for help.

Many feared eviction, and some were evicted from their homes when owners put them on the market for sale to displaced fire victims.

Now, as normal life shuts down again, many people are again losing work, staying home to watch the kids, self-quarantined, and potentially taking care of the sick. For those in financial straits because of the crisis, the Housing Group’s Sunday meeting foresaw a need for moratoriums on mortgage payments and rents, as well as on evictions.

With the community in virtual quarantine, it expects that many small businesses may also need rent relief.

At its meeting, the SVHG also took special notice of Sonoma Overnight Shelter’s pressing question to the city and the county about where Sonoma Valley’s unsheltered residents will be quarantined if they test positive for the virus.

Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA