housing

Rent is Due But San Diegans Hope for Relief

San Diegans look to the city for help as they struggle to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic

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It is almost the first of the month and Susana Valdez already knows she won't be able to pay her rent this month.

Valdez and her husband are full-time rideshare drivers. The pair went from making a couple of hundred dollars a day to just $30 to $50 a day amid the coronavirus outbreak and the "stay at home" orders that followed.

Now there is help for people like Valdez.

San Diego City Council unanimously voted March 25 on an ordinance that places a moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants facing financial hardships.

We are stuggling because there is no work out there for us. Everyday is another day we are worried about how are we going to make ends meet.

Susana Valdez

People going through financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic need to let their landlords know in writing they will not be able to pay their rent. the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) says text and email are valid forms of notice, too.

According to the SDDHC's website, the notice needs to be given to the landlord by the day the rent is due -- in this case, by April 1. Here is an example letter.

A week after the written notification is given, paperwork showing proof of the hardship needs to be submitted as well.

Renters will have six months from March 26, 2020, to pay off their balance.

For Valdez and her family, it does provide some immediate relief, but also some stress over if she will be able to pay back everything she will owe.

By the time we all start working again and making a living as I was before, then I am still going to be backed up.

Susana Valdez

The moratorium will last until May 31, unless extended by the city.

CORONAVIRUS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: What You Need to Know: Latest Developments | Resources | How to Help | What Has Reopened? | Photos: Coronavirus Impact in SD

CORONAVIRUS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY: What You Need to Know: Latest Developments | Resources | How to Help | What Has Reopened? | Photos: Coronavirus Impact in SD

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