LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) Dozens of people protested in downtown Los Angeles on Friday morning, urging local and state officials to extend a moratorium on evictions for tenants in difficulty over the ongoing economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

A protest outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles calling for rent relief amid the coronavirus. August 21, 2020. (Getty Images)

The protesters gathered outside the LA County Superior Court building and also staged a trailer.

It was in response to a vote by the California Justice Council on August 13 to lift the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures effective September 1.

The moratorium can now only be extended if California legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom reach an agreement on it.

"Gov. Newsom and all elected officials need to understand that the eviction crisis will hit nearly five million people, ”said Annie Shaw of the Chinatown Community for Equitable Development, one of the stakeholders who helped organize the protest. “People will not be able to repay the rent they owe during the pandemic. Most of us are already struggling before COVID, during COVID and after COVID we will not magically generate new income to repay the rent. This means that people will become homeless. "

"The best way to solve this problem is to cancel the rental immediately," added Shaw.

On Monday, L.A. County accepted applications for a $ 100 million rental relief program for low-income tenants. The program is open to all Los Angeles County residents who do not live in the city of Los Angeles. The city of LA has its own $ 103 million program.

Earlier this month, the LA City Council voted unanimously in support of the Convention's 1436 Bill. The bill would extend the eviction moratorium to 15 months after a state or local state of emergency is lifted.

In early July, Newsom signed an extension to September 30 for an executive order giving local governments the power to stop evictions from tenants.

On July 21, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors extended a state-wide eviction ban for residential and commercial tenants through September 30. The moratorium first came into effect in March when the pandemic hit. It applies to all local jurisdictions unless they have their own moratoriums.

In April, the LA City Council decided to advance a plan to freeze rent increases for about a year for older homes protected by the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

Last October, Newsom signed a law that limits the annual rent increase for apartments aged 15 and over to 5 percent.

In addition to the CCED, the Californians' Alliance for Community Empowerment, LA Voice, the LA Tenants Union, SEIU 721, the Eviction Defense Network, and the Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action also attended the demonstration.

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