Over the past two months, a lot has changed about daily life. This post is dedicated to providing you with important information about a number of actions the city and county have taken to provide assistance to our residents. I want to begin by thanking you, the Emeryville community. Your compliance with Alameda County Health Officer Order 20-10 has been evidenced by the fact that Emeryville continues to have the lowest number of cases for any city in the county.
Outlined below are a series of important updates with links to new ordinances, FAQs, and other information on housing, rental assistance, utilities, transit, childcare, small businesses, public benefits programs and more. This page will be updated as information changes or new resources become available.
The Emeryville City Council has adopted a number of housing protections that all residents should know about:
This ordinance is in place until June 30, 2020. Under this law, no landlord may give a tenant a Notice to Terminate Tenancy while the Eviction Moratorium is in effect. Failure on the part of the landlord to comply with the moratorium gives a tenant an affirmative defense to an eviction action the landlord may try to bring based on that notice. The ordinance allows a narrow exception when an eviction is required to protect public health and safety (i.e. a tenant has a drug lab or something similarly dangerous in the unit). It provides protections to all residential tenants, most commercial tenants, as well as some homeowners. Please read the full ordinance (link above) and the appropriate corresponding FAQ (links below) to learn more about your rights. Check back to this page for future updates to or extensions of this ordinance by future council action.
Groups covered by this ordinance:
- All residential tenants in Emeryville
- Commercial tenants in Emeryville who have gross receipts of less than $7.5M annually (about 95% of Emeryville businesses)
- Emeryville homeowners in Homeowner Associations (HOAs)
As a reminder, the city already has in place Tenant Protection and Just Cause Eviction Ordinances that provide additional tenant protections against harassment and no-fault evictions. Please review and know your rights and responsibilities.
If you live in certain types of federally-subsidized housing, the federal CARES Act provides some additional eviction protections as well. Read more to see if it applies to you.
This ordinance provides protections for residential tenants against evictions after the moratorium protections outlined above expire. Under this law, before a residential landlord can give an eviction notice to a tenant, they must offer the tenant a reasonable repayment plan for any unpaid rent accruing from April 1, 2020 through the expiration of the Governor's COVID-19 State of Emergency. The repayment plan must be offered in writing and must be spread out over not less than 12 months.
- Guidelines for Landlords and Tenants on Repayment Plans (Check Back - This Link is Coming Soon!)
The city council opted to take $400,000 from the city's disaster relief reserves and use it to provide additional assistance to our lowest-income families facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The above link contains important information on the program's eligibility guidelines. You can also learn more about this on the city's website.
- How to Get Assistance--
- The first month that is eligible for rental assistance will be June 2020. You must be an eligible Emeryville resident, as defined in the program guidelines. Please note that if you weren't able to pay April or May, the rental repayment plan ordinance is in place to help provide a bridge for tenants to repay those months over time. If sufficient funds exist, emergency rental assistance may also be available for July 2020.
- To Apply for Assistance, visit this city webpage for the application beginning at 9am on May 13th. Applications will be accepted through May 20, 2020.
- How YOU Can Help--
- The City of Emeryville has partnered with Bay Area Community Services to administer this emergency rental assistance program. If you have been looking for a way to meaningfully help others and you want the added bonus of knowing your donation will stay local to help Emeryville families, you can now make a tax-deductible donation to this fund and earmark your donation to help other Emeryville families! Together, we can help keep our community stably housed and safe.
- TO DONATE, CLICK HERE. When filling out your donation form, please be sure to mark "Emeryville Emergency Housing" to ensure your donation is used to help keep another Emeryville family housed. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Here are some other protections and programs. I will update with additional items that become available. Feel free to email me via the contacts page of my blog with additional resources:
City of Emeryville Home Page - Visit our home page regularly to get all the latest on COVID-19 updates for all programs and services in the city.
2-1-1 Alameda County - Visit this page or dial 2-1-1 to get a full directory of services and assistance programs countywide.
Coronavirus Testing and Locations - The Alameda County Department of Public Health has provided a list of places where residents can get tested for coronavirus here in Alameda County.
PG&E CARE and FERA Programs - PG&E offers assistance with utility payments to qualifying customers.
EBMUD Customer Assistance Program - EBMUD will not turn off water during the emergency order. They have a program to offer utility payment assistance to qualifying customers.
Alameda County Nutrition Assistance Programs - Use this map to locate food assistance programs nearest you. You can also make donations to any of the following programs to help others who are food insecure during the pandemic, such as homebound seniors and people with limited resources:
East Bay Regional Parks District - Learn about regional park travel/visitor restrictions and guidance on the best places to take your family during shelter-in-place for some fresh air.
Emergency Childcare for Essential Workers - Alameda County resource open to essential workers who need childcare assistance.
Alameda County Office of Education Guide for Parents - Provides info on school meal services, distance learning programs and more.
Apply for CalFresh, Medi-Cal, or General Assistance - On the Alameda County Department of Social Services homepage, links on the left side guide you to application portals for federally-subsidized nutrition, cash, and healthcare assistance programs.
Free Pet Food - The Berkeley Humane Society is a Northern California distribution hub of pet food for families with pets who need assistance to feed their pets. Call (510) 845-7735 to make an appointment to pick up food at 2700 Ninth Street, Berkeley.
File for Unemployment Insurance - The California Employment Development Department is where you can learn about your unemployment benefit eligibility and apply for assistance.
- Please note that state law was amended due to COVID-19 and now covers certain forms of self-employed and independent contractor employment that was not previously covered. Visit Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for more information.
BART Transit Service Adjustments - Visit this page to view schedule changes and other modifications to BART operations, while signing up to receive updates.
AC Transit Service Adjustments - Visit this page to get information on changes to AC Transit's services.
Emery-Go-Round Service Adjustments - Visit this page to read about changes to service here in Emeryville on Emery-Go-Round.
Emeryville Slow Streets Program: Doyle Street - The city has temporarily closed portions of Doyle Street to provide additional space for outdoor exercise while social distancing. Please be courteous of your neighbors while enjoying this accessible space.
Automated Pedestrian Call Buttons - The city has automated pedestrian call buttons to reduce the need for residents to touch "high contact" surfaces in order to walk or bike through the city. The buttons remain usable for ADA purposes, but you otherwise do not need to press them. We will be examining ways to implement some form of this permanently.
THE 2020 CENSUS
Cities and counties receive local funding from the federal government based on the decennial census. Federal funding to local jurisdictions can be decreased substantially if we have a significant undercount. Alameda County stands to lose a significant amount of funding this year by returning a low census count. Currently, only about 60% of Emeryville residents have completed the census. Please complete the census today and help preserve federal funding for our community, which protects services and reduces the need for future local taxes. Complete the 2020 Census here.
Thank you for your patience as we work together in response to the guidance from our state and county health officers. Many challenges lie ahead for the city as we begin to come out of the mandatory shelter-in-place orders. While the city has done a good job preparing for economic uncertainty over the past few years, no city was fully prepared to have the state shut down a vast majority of its economy. Together with our staff, your city council is already busy at work planning for the recovery that lies ahead. I'm proud to represent this city and I am grateful that we have some of the best civil servants in the Bay Area working alongside a dedicated city council to ensure that we give Emeryville the best chance possible for a strong recovery.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and thank you for your patience, cooperation and support during these difficult times.