SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Renters have been calling for eviction protection and rental relief since the economy began getting hammered by the virus. They’re now joined by the landlords of small rental operations in California and one more group.
The California Rental Housing Association is chiming in and asking Governor Gavin Newsom and the federal government to provide rent assistance to tenants for up to three months.
“I have to tell you, I’m worried,” said Mike Werner.
Werner, who is a landlord, said that while banks and lenders are giving homeowners a break on mortgage payments, rental unit owners are not being given one despite many tenants not paying rent.
“(Renters) are employed. We know they are working from home. It doesn’t matter,” said Werner.
The financial hit for small apartment landlords can be huge. But it’s an even greater problem for so-called mom and pop landlords who own a unit or two in residential areas.
“What we’re hearing from our members is when they do make phone calls there’s silence on the other end,” said CRHA president Sid Lakireddy. “The banks are very confused on how to react.”
Mom and pop landlords tend to be retired with rental income as their sole source of income. It’s income that they usually spread around to dozens of businesses in their community.
Small landlords say housing is a key part of the shelter-in-place strategy.
“We have to provide them a safe place for them to stay in and in order to do that these mom and pops depend on the income from these renters to provide the shelter they do provide,” said Lakireddy.
The association wants Governor Newsom and the legislature to adjust the state budget to provide funds for rental assistance and use federal emergency funds for that purpose as well.