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San Diego's no-fault eviction protections about to end

Community activists and some city leaders are fighting to re-instate these protections on a permanent basis.

SAN DIEGO — After Friday night, San Diego's temporary moratorium on no-fault evictions will come to an end.

Adopted last May, this ban shielded tenants from being evicted if they were up to date on rent and abided by the terms of their lease.

While San Diego's temporary no-fault eviction protections end after the end of the month, community activists and some city leaders are fighting to re-instate them on a permanent basis.

Tenants at one Linda Vista apartment complex said that they received notices to leave their homes by the beginning of next year as renovations on some of the units have already begun.

"This is our home!"

Among them is Belinda Ward, who said that she has nowhere to go.

"This is our home!" she cried. "I've looked, and I cannot find anything that is at least double the rent."

"This is like a pandemic: it is a pandemic of evictions," said Francisco Hernandez, who lives in a nearby complex. He is also facing eviction, despite paying his rent on-time and abiding by his lease. Hernandez said that he foresees a new wave of homelessness as he and families like his have no affordable place to live.

"What you will see is a lot more tents on the street, that's where we are," he told CBS 8. "I mean, that could be me, it could be anybody, even people comfortable in their home paying rent now. Tomorrow, you could get a 30-day notice."

With the city's moratorium on no-fault evictions ending this week, Hernandez realizes his legal protections are dwindling.

"The city really needs to step up and do something about it," he added.

"My office is working urgently to update our tenant protections in a comprehensive way," said San Diego city council president Sean Elo-Rivera.

Elo-Rivera proposed the temporary ban on no-fault evictions last spring. He said that he dedicated to expanding those protections on a permanent basis.

"Hearing that predatory owner are circling tenants like sharks in certain communities wanting to evict them just so they can jack up the rent, and potentially force these folks into homelessness or to have to leave the San Diego region: that is all the evidence that anyone should need as to why tenant protections need to be strengthened," Elo-Rivera said.

Francisco Hernandez said that is determined to remain in his apartment. 

"I want to fight for my home," he said. "I want to fight for what's right for the community!"

Council president Sean Elo-Rivera is now working with the City Attorney's office to draft a new proposal to update San Diego's tenant protection ordinance, which he hopes to present to the council in the coming months.

WATCH RELATED: City of San Diego and County leaders plan to work together to solve housing crisis (September 2022)

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