FRESNO, California. (KSEE) — The Fresno City Council passed an ordinance that restricts evictions and foreclosures for businesses and citizens affects by the COVID-19 Thursday morning.
The citizens will also have a 6-month payback period to pay the missed payments back.
People who cannot make their rent or mortgage payments must let their landlords or lending companies as soon as possible via a written statement.
“I said this a couple of days ago,” said Mayor Lee Brand. “Nobody in Fresno is going to lose their home because of the Coronavirus. We are going to give forbearance to get by. Particularly for businesses. I know a lot of them are going to struggle.”
Councilmember Esmerelda Soria said the new ordinance was needed to help those affected by the emergency order approved on Wednesday that urged citizens to shelter in place.
“We want them to know that they have a city that cares about them that understands the value they give to our local economy,” said Soria. “We are going to do our part to help and support them.”
Other top officials in the community, including Police Chief Andy Hall, want to make sure residents feel safe in this uncertain time.
“Make no mistake,” said Hall. “We will be patrolling our streets, our neighborhoods, and our shopping centers to keep this community safe. That is our commitment to you.”
693 of 700 police officers continue to patrol the city’s streets. The other seven have been told to stay home because they are at risk for COVID-19 due to their chronic illnesses.
Fire Chief Kerri Donis told the public on Thursday to continue to call her department during a medical emergency.
“But we also ask you to let us know if you are having a fever,” said Donis. “If you have a rash, if you are coughing, or if you have been out of the country. Tell us that when we come to the door so we can be better prepared to not just limit the exposure but to not send three or four crews but maybe just one.”
The Fresno City Manager has requested state and federal funding to help financially struggling citizens. The city will also look into creating an emergency COVID-19 fund.