Senate Democrats Work to Secure Eviction Protection for Californians

August 28, 2020

SACRAMENTO – With the constitutional deadline of August 31 fast approaching, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) praised an agreement reached today to protect Californians from evictions and foreclosures.

The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act would protect renters from evictions due to a COVID-related hardship until February 1, 2021, but still hold them responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords. It also provides additional legal and financial protections for tenants, provides statewide consistency on local ordinances, and protects small landlords by extending the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights’ anti-foreclosure protections.

“The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act will provide stability and relief for Californians as we continue to address the uncertainty surrounding the public health crisis. This collaborative effort combines legal and financial protections for tenants and landlords, and most importantly, keeps Californians housed,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego).

“I am proud of the leadership Senate Democrats, and particularly Senators Anna Caballero and Steven Bradford, have shown on this effort, and I am grateful for the support of Speaker Anthony Rendon, our Assembly colleagues, and Governor Gavin Newsom,” Pro Tem Atkins said. “When we began working on our state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, we made a commitment to Californians that providing solutions to housing instability would remain a key priority – the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act helps deliver on that promise.”

Senator Caballero characterized the new agreement as critical for California’s working families.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the economy and hurt families all over the state who are not working and struggling to pay their bills,” Senator Caballero said. “The spread of the virus continues and with no real end in sight, this proposal is critical to ensure that no family is evicted because they can’t afford to pay. This bill ensures that tenants continue to work with their landlords cooperatively. This is a balanced approach and will serve as a bridge into the New Year.”

Senator Bradford added that work on these efforts will continue next year.

“My Senate colleagues and I knew we needed to act to protect tenants and small landlords by the end of this month and we have, after much work,” Senator Bradford said. “This agreement will keep people from being evicted or foreclosed upon for no reason other than being a victim of this pandemic. This is not a handout, but a hand up to tenants and landlords during these difficult times. The Legislature must also prepare options for what comes after. This is one step forward in our path to recovery from COVID-19, and I’ll continue to fight for equitable and inclusive solutions.” 



Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: