State aims to ease worries of Central Valley residents who can't pay rent during COVID-19 outbreak

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The state of California is hoping to lessen the burden for families struggling to pay their rent on time amid COVID-19.

With the first of the month fast approaching, Gov. Gavin Newsom says no one will be kicked out of their residence if they can't make the rent because of the coronavirus. Last week, he issued an executive order that blocks landlords from evicting residents affected by the pandemic.

"This is a time of great economic uncertainty. People have either lost their jobs or are afraid they might or had their hours cut, and the last thing they need to worry about losing their home," said Greg Terzakis with the California Apartment Association.

He says the best thing for tenants to do is contact their landlord or property manager to work out a payment plan.

The City of Fresno has also issued an ordinance preventing renters from being charged late fees or interest for non-payments; however, rents and mortgages are still due

"The landlords need to communicate with the tenants, and the tenants need to communicate with the landlords. They need to show that they are harmed by COVID-19, and that can be something as easy as my kid's school is closed and I have to stay home," Terzakis said.

The Fresno Housing Authority has suspended all non-criminal eviction notices for anyone who lives in public housing.

The organization released the following statement:
"Our residents should still pay rent by the due date if their income has not been impacted. If their income has been affected by COVID-19 notify us of their change in income and contact their landlord/property manager immediately."

If you feel you are the victim of an illegal eviction, call your local city. In Fresno, you can dial 311.

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