Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 832 into law Monday night which, among other things, allocates additional federal rent relief dollars to the state rental assistance program for housing providers with qualified tenants. Unlike current law, which caps recoupment by housing providers to 80% of back rent owed by qualified tenants, AB 832 ensures housing providers receive 100% of that back rent. Those housing providers who have already received 80% of back rent will receive the remaining 20% automatically.
AB 832 also extends the state’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021, while prohibiting cities and counties from adopting stricter eviction moratoria through March 31, 2022. This legislation arrives just after the federal Administration extended the nationwide eviction moratorium through July 31, 2021. Tenant groups had been pushing for an extension of the state eviction moratorium through December 31, 2021.
While C.A.R. recognizes that federal law restricts the state’s use of federal funds to assist only tenants who earn up to 80% of area median income, C.A.R. believes that, given the extended moratorium, housing providers who have tenants who earn above that federal cap who are experiencing pandemic related hardships and are unable to pay their rent should receive rental assistance. C.A.R. has expressed these concerns to the Legislature and is continuing to work to see if state funds can be allocated for such assistance.
C.A.R. is continuing to analyze the various provisions of the bill and C.A.R.’s Legal Department will have a detailed Q&A soon.
AB 832 represents a negotiation between the Administration and Legislative Leadership. The California Apartment Association and other major industry groups are neutral on the measure. The Legislature approved AB 832 late Monday with solid bipartisan support in both the Assembly and the Senate.