OAKLAND, Calif. - Governor Newsom announced a new state website on Wednesday that provides resources and information to tenants, landlords, and homeowners impacted by COVID-19.
Newsom said the website was launched in relation to a housing relief bill he signed Monday which halts evictions and foreclosures until February 2021, if tenants and homeowners are unable to pay their rent or mortgage due to coronavirus pandemic.
The website, called housingiskey.com, is a one stop shop for tenant and landlord resources, with information on protection guidelines in multiple languages. It provides guidance, tool kits, and legal aid resources for those who may need it.
Newsom said there are currently 5.4 million California renters at risk of losing their home, with Blacks and Latinos being disproportionately affected. He also cited a recent survey by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center that found the pandemic has caused an estimated 50% to 66% drop in income for renters statewide.
“Despite having some of the strongest renter protections in the nation, that has not ameliorated the stress and anxiety homeowners are facing with this pandemic,” Newsom said.
The new state eviction and foreclosure protections go further than the federal guidelines recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which halt evictions through the end of this year. He also said more is being done with Project Roomkey to address homelessness. Project Roomkey, which secures hotel and motel rooms for people experiencing homelessness, has help serve more than 22,000 people since April. Newsom said 344 hotels have been utilized in 55 counties and 3 tribal sovereign nations.
As far COVID-19 case numbers, Newsom said California is seeing a reduction in the total number of cases. He said the state’s positivity rate in the last 7 days is 4.4%, compared to 5.1% in the last two weeks. Hospitalizations and ICU patients have each seen a 23% decline in the last two weeks.
“We continue to get tests north of 100,000, averaging just shy of 110,000 tests. That’s a good sign, but nonetheless it’s a stubborn sign,” he said.
Newsom encouraged people to wear masks, physical distance, and to stay vigilant as we work through the next few months of what he calls a “twin-demic” – the flu season and the coronavirus pandemic.