Dozens of Madera residents saved from evictions this holiday season

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MADERA, California (KSEE) – It was a major victory for dozens of Madera tenants set to be evicted this holiday season.

Last month, 30 families in the Laguna Knolls apartment complex were served 60-day eviction notices. Councilmembers heard their pleas and voted to enact an “urgency ordinance” Wednesday night, stopping ‘no-fault’ evictions.

“We were losing our home. To be able to say I can take a bath, cook for [my husband], I don’t even care about Thanksgiving or Christmas trees, I just thank you Lord that you gave us our home,” one woman said.

Many came out to the meeting to share their stories.

“Just to receive that notice was terrifying,” Claudia Garza said.

Councilmember Santos Garcia spoke out at a press conference before the council meeting, saying he hopes his colleagues will join him in supporting the urgency ordinance.

“It will stop completely the eviction notices until December 31st,” he said.

People living in the complex said they were not told why they were being evicted. But the notices were served before legislation would take effect which would make evictions more expensive and difficult.

“We’re trusting you to have our backs. We’re trusting you to help us,” one woman said to the council during public comment.

All seven councilmembers stepped up for the tenants, voting unanimously to enact the urgency ordinance effective immediately.

“This is absolutely fantastic. Not only for the residents of Laguna Knolls but for the entire city. We need to address this issue that has come up before us. So setting this emergency ordinance is a great first step in moving toward protecting the tenants in the city of Madera,” Mayor Andy Medellin said.

The urgency ordinance runs through the end of the year. Then the new law takes effect requiring landlords to give ‘just cause’ for evictions.

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