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Protests planned as San Diego County's eviction moratorium ends

“We need some more protections so that people are not forced out of their houses,” said Housing Activist Juliana Musheyev of the Party For Socialism and Liberation.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Activists are gearing up for a new fight as San Diego County's eviction moratorium is set to expire this weekend.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, San Diego County suspended evictions for tenants who could not pay their rent due to financial hardships stemming from the virus, but that moratorium is scheduled to end on Sunday, May 31. 

“We need some more protections so that people are not forced out of their houses,” said Housing Activist Juliana Musheyev of the Party For Socialism and Liberation.

Musheyev said she has heard from dozens of San Diegans who've received notices to vacate their homes, despite Sheriff Gore's decision earlier this month to back off any eviction enforcement. 

“People in that situation have no guarantee that those evictions are not going to be executed,” she said.

Some San Diego County Supervisors have proposed a one month extension in the eviction moratorium, through June 30th, as the City of San Diego has successfully done.

On Friday, Gov. Newsom took that one step further by issuing an executive order extending authorization for local governments to halt evictions through July 28.

Activists, however, want more done.

“We are making a demand that we do think is possible,” Musheyev said.

They're demanding that governments cancel rent and mortgages, during the COVID-19 crisis for those who've lost jobs or had their hours cut.

It's part of a national movement.

In San Diego, tenants have up to six months to pay back the rent after the pandemic ends, but housing rights attorneys said there will be problems for those who still can't come up with the money.

“Folks will ultimately face eviction, and if they lose that eviction case the sheriff will come and put them out,” said Housing Rights Attorney Elena Popp.

Some property owners have said they have hardships, too. If they don't get paid rent, they can't pay their mortgages, property taxes, and their own bills.

“They're asking for something for free. Nothing is free. Everything comes at a cost,” LA property owner Arnold Epstein told KCBS.

Activists said it'll cost more to do nothing.

“If something is not done, we are going to be facing a homelessness crisis,” said Musheyev

The county is expected to vote on the moratorium extension on Tuesday.

As for protesters, they plan to gather in the Grantville neighborhood Saturday. Details can be found here: https://www.canceltherents.org/.  

RELATED: San Diego Council extends eviction moratorium to June 30

RELATED: What will California do about the rent?

RELATED: Pacific Beach tenants say they've been hit with a rent increase starting June 1

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