Alameda County eyes extending COVID-19 eviction moratorium to entire county

Alameda County Board of Supervisors practicing social distancing during a meeting on Mar. 24.

Alameda County supervisors approved on Tuesday a moratorium on evictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The moratorium gives relief only for renters in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County, but could possibly later extend to all cities in the county that have not already passed their own moratoriums.

Alameda County beatAlameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan raised the possibility of the moratorium covering the entire county. Chris Bazar, Alameda County Community Development Agency director, said the county’s counsel is studying whether the county has the authority to do so. “It sounds like very much of a possibility that we could pursue,” Bazar added.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s issued an executive order last week urging cities to enact moratoriums on evictions that arise out of tenant’s inability to pay rent due to the coronavirus. Only a small percentage of the state’s over 500 municipalities have done so, as of Wednesday.

Alameda, Hayward, and San Leandro, among local East Bay cities have already approved similar urgency moratoriums since last week. Oakland will take up its own moratorium at a special meeting scheduled for Friday morning.

County staff indicated subsequent renewals of the moratorium for the unincorporated areas is likely as the depth and severity of the coronavirus on the county is better understood in coming weeks and months. “This is very much meant to be forwarded indefinitely,” Bazar said.