$5 Billion Needed in Rent Relief, Assemblymember Lee Joins Coalition of Legislators in Budget Push

For immediate release:

SAN JOSÉ, CA – Ahead of Governor Newsom’s budget release, Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San José) is calling for the State Budget to invest $5 billion for rental assistance to working families.

“While the eviction moratorium protects residents for the next 24 days, their situations are not improving,” said Lee. “The amount of back rent owed continues to pile up, and we need to be doing a hell of a lot more in direct aid.”

The economic impacts of COVID-19 have left many unemployed and with mounting debt and back rent owed. A federal reserve study found that by the end of 2020, nearly 240,000 renter households in the state had fallen behind on rent, with $1.7 billion in back rent owed or an average debt of $6,953 per household. Without immediate statewide funding, hundreds of thousands of renters will lose their housing and become homeless. 

“The rippling effects are felt throughout the system -- when renters can’t pay their rent, landlords can’t make their mortgages, or lose out on their main sources of income as well,” Lee noted.

Additionally, at the end of the month, California’s eviction moratorium is set to expire unless urgent action is taken. Lee joins Assemblymember David Chiu in a proposal to extend the eviction moratorium via Assembly Bill 15, but direct rental assistance is still needed for working families for owed rent. This is why the $5 billion is necessary.

Lee joins a coalition of State Senators and Assemblymembers calling for $5 billion of assistance to renters including Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago, Tasha Boerner Horvath, Wendy Carrillo, Sabrina Cervantes, Sydney Kamlager, Sharon Quirk-Silva, Cristina Garcia, Mike Gipson, Lorena Gonzalez, Ash Kalra, Evan Low, Freddie Rodriguez, Mark Stone, Buffy Wicks, and Senators Ben Allen, Monique Limon, Henry Stern, and Scott Wiener.

Assemblymember Alex Lee sits on the Budget Committee as well as the Committees on Education, Transportation, Privacy & Consumer Protection, and Rules. He represents the 25th Assembly District which includes the cities of Fremont, Newark, Milpitas, San Jose, and Santa Clara.

Contact: Charlsie Chang; charlsie.chang@asm.ca.gov; 626-898-2395

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