FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — More than two years after the city declared a COVID-19 emergency order, the city council unanimously struck it down Thursday.
With the vote, the eviction moratorium will officially end on June 10, although Mayor Jerry Dyer said the decision does not imply that Fresno renters will be evicted right away.
“It is time that we lift the ordinance,” Mayor Dyer said. “That is not to say that people are going to face evictions right now.”
Some in the community fear the decision will lead to an increase in homelessness as the city already faces a housing crisis.
“My big concern is that when you lift this,” said Fresno resident Lisa Flores. “What is it going to cost the City to have homeless families out there in the hottest part of the year — because that is what is going to happen.”
Despite the end of the moratorium, tenants will have until Feb. 2023 to pay back rent that was accumulated between March 2020 and June 9, 2022, as long as they can prove that the reason they haven’t paid is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Mayor Dyer.
“As they go forward they are going to have to pay rent,” said Mayor Dyer. “We don’t want to put any unnecessary burden on those that are renting and we don’t want to put any burden on the landlords.”
The City has received $54 million in rental assistance and has distributed around $30 million to date.
Mayor Dyer said that the city will continue to give out around $24 million through the Eviction Protection Program and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Those who wish to take part in the Eviction Protection Program are directed to call (559) 621-8400 or (559) 621-6801 for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.