With local and statewide protections in place against evictions for those who cannot pay rent due to COVID-related hardships, landlords in the Bay Area have been finding loopholes to evict tenants. A recent Mother Jones article describes the increase in landlord harassment, lockouts, utilities shutoffs, and other methods of trying to get around eviction protections. These unlawful evictions disproportionately affect people who are low-income, non-English speaking, elderly, disabled, or who are not citizens.
BayLegal Staff Attorney Sophia Wang speaks in the article about how eviction increases people’s risk of contracting COVID-19 and spreading the virus because “’even if they don’t stay in a car or on the street, they move in with people that they know, which contributes to overcrowding in homes…More broadly speaking, housing stability is really important for economic recovery and just getting things back to normal.'”