The California legislature has proposed a repayment plan for unpaid rent due to COVID-19.
The bill — SB 1410 — proposes a voluntary relief program that would keep renters in their homes, but could cost taxpayers as much as $10 billion.
State Sen. Anna Caballero, who co-authored the bill, says it’s part of an effort to stabilize the housing market.
The program would span between 2024 and 2034. During that time, tenants would make rent payments with their tax returns. In exchange, they would be protected from evictions for unpaid rent that accumulated during the pandemic.
The agreement would also give landlords some relief, in the form of tax breaks equal to the amount of rent they are forgiving. They could also sell their tax credits for extra cash.
The California Association of Realtors and the California Rental Housing Association oppose the bill. They say that the relief for landlords won’t cover their mortgage and maintenance costs during the 10-year period. And that selling their credits would be too complex and too risky, particularly for landlords with fewer properties.