Extending the eviction moratorium: Young people describe trauma related to housing insecurity

The State of California and its counties are considering extending the moratorium on evictions in hopes of staving off flooding the streets, parks and lots with unimaginable new homeless. It's already had a huge impact on the young Californians of our future.

California's COVID anti-eviction moratorium ends on June 30. Experts say, 900,000 California households, up to 15% of renters, are behind on their rent each owing about $8,000, according to the Federal Reserve. 

If that tragic eviction tsunami comes, the pandemic will have hurt the children most of all and their parents know it. 

"They got scared, they got stressed out; we didn't have anywhere else to go," said Jorge, the son of a renter in Bay Point. 

"There was a lot of fighting in my house and it just got even worse when our landlord threatened to sell our house. It was so much emotional damage it pushed me over the edge and I decided to end it all." said Layla the 12-year-old daughter of a renter who did not commit suicide thanks to the intervention of friends. Though Governor Gavin Newsom has said he will cover 100% of rent owned by tenants, he will quickly have to come up with more than $7 billion.

Eviction increases the long term chances of homelessness, worsening health and higher healthcare costs. The strain it puts on credit ratings makes future leasing or housing and cars nearly impossible. 

"It's simply time to wake up and change and actually do something about it and not say it and do it," said Alicia, a young renter.

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment  zoomed this testimonial plea from students to the Governor, the legislature and Washington, D.C. to extend the moratorium. 

"We have been through three different eviction notices from three different landlords. That puts a lot of stress on my mom, me and my little brother. It's like a lot. It's been just like a roller coaster of hell and emotions," said Alejandra, the daughter of a renter. Tearfully, Alejandra says she cries every night, but hides her pain away from her mom, in constant fear of  another knock on the door. 

"It's the manager again or the landlord coming to scream at us, coming to give us papers and tells us we have no rights. We need to get out. The last thing I want is for any kid or child; anyone's kid to feel the pain that my house, my family have been through," said Alejandra as she began to cry.