SAN DIEGO — Preparing for the worst, renter Juliana Musheyev in San Marcos said her whole family has been impacted with job loss due the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
"People are not going to know how to move forward once these moratoriums are lifted," said Musheyev, who is also a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. "It's scary because I'm still laid off from my job, and I'm not going to be getting that extra stimulus. I've gone back to work part-time, but [it's] not nearly not enough to cover my rent."
It's been the same for thousands of renters across San Diego County worried about what will happen when the eviction moratorium ends June 30.
"I'm very fearful there's going to be a lot of people on the street due to this pandemic,” said Catherine Mendonca, San Diego Tenants Union administrator and community organizer.
It's a tough spot for the rent collectors, as landlords are also not receiving money.
"They have to pay their mortgage, HOA dues, property taxes and they're getting no rent," said Claudette Copper, owner of San Diego City Property management.
Early this month, the San Diego City Council approved a rent relief program in a proposal by Councilman Chris Ward, who wanted to use CARES Act money to help nearly 15,000 San Diego households, but just how that money will be paid out and from where is still unclear.
"I feel as though city officials and county officials have failed renters,” said Mendonca, who is calling for major rent relief. "During a pandemic where renters have no choice but to stay home, they should be relieved of the debt. The debt should be cancelled.”
Relief could come as the San Diego City Council plans to bring forward a request next week to extend the eviction moratorium through September 30, but that's the same time when tenants are expected to start paying back six months of previous rent.
"On top of student loans, car and home loans, it's just another level of debt. We know that even before this pandemic, Americans were struggling to pay their rent,” Musheyev said.
Renters desperately don't want to get shut out.
"Secure family's housing before they end up on the street, before they end up evicted, before they end up with a sheriff lockout,” Mendonca said.