Other states have taken similar action to protects renters who may be unable to work due to the health crisis, including New York, Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana and New Jersey.
Newsom's executive order, enacted Friday, requires tenants to retain documentation and file a declaration, no more than seven days after rent is due, stating that they cannot pay due to the coronavirus.
Newsom had previously authorized local governments to halt evictions, slow foreclosures and protect households against utility shutoffs. The new order builds off those steps, creating blanket protections for renters statewide.
“People shouldn’t lose or be forced out of their home because of the spread of COVID-19,” Newsom said. “Over the next few weeks, everyone will have to make sacrifices – but a place to live shouldn’t be one of them.”
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While the order stops evictions, it does not prevent back-due rent, which will be due after the order is lifted.
The order is more restrictive than those of other states, such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s move to halt all evictions for 90 days.
With unemployment on the rise, many people across the nation have started to demand a rent strike, with movements growing in several states and across social media.
The California order will remain in effect through May 31.