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SF Could Permanently End Coronavirus-Related Evictions

San Francisco Board of Supervisors


San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston has proposed legislation to expand the city’s pandemic-related eviction ban.

Currently, San Francisco renters can’t be evicted during the COVID-19 emergency. But if they can’t pay their landlords now, they could owe months of rent when the crisis lifts. And that could lead to eviction.

This week, Preston introduced a bill that would change that.

“Today we’re taking the next step, which is making sure that tenants, especially vulnerable, low-income tenants, to make sure they have the comfort of knowing that rent due during this COVID-19 crisis will not someday become grounds for eviction,” Preston said.

Tenants would still owe the rent — they just couldn’t be evicted for failure to pay. The proposal would also prevent late fees and other charges from being added.

At a board meeting on Tuesday, Preston said he is supporting state and national efforts to cancel rent debt. But he doesn’t want to wait for statewide action to protect renters.