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San Marcos extends temporary eviction moratorium

SAN MARCOS — The San Marcos City Council voted May 12 to extend the city’s temporary eviction moratorium to June 30, 2020.

The measure, which was initially enacted on March 24, temporarily suspends evictions of residential and commercial tenants who are unable to pay rent.

It makes it unlawful to evict a residential or commercial tenant in San Marcos if the tenant has provided notice to their landlord that they are unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19.

The time period in which tenants should notify landlords of inability to pay has been shortened to seven days from the previous 30-day notice period, to be consistent with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide eviction moratorium that was issued on March 27.

Newsom’s executive order only applies through May 31 and has not yet been extended.

“This extension was an important step, and we did it prior to the governor taking that action on the state level,” said San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones. “We are always trying to figure out how to best serve our citizens and we didn’t want to wait for someone else to do something. If there’s something we can do locally, we’ll do it.”

The moratorium does not absolve residential and commercial tenants of the rent they owe to their landlords, however that rent will be deferred until after June 30, 2020. Tenants must provide documentation and written notification to their landlords within seven days after the rent is due showing that COVID-19 is the cause of their inability to pay.

“This was an urgent need,” said San Marcos City Attorney Helen Peak. “Housing security is something that we feel is very important at this time, and we feel that our community needed that safety net.”

The council also approved its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Federal Program Consolidated Plan for 2020-25 and the Federal Program Annual Action Plan for 2020, which detail the needs of the low- and moderate-income areas of the community and the planned use of CDBG funding to address those needs.

The council authorized submission of the plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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