After making formal complaints about repairs needed to the property, and losing their incomes due to COVID, a family of five women and their children, have received a notice from the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department that they will be locked out of their home the day before Thanksgiving. The eviction is part of a growing surge of COVID-related retaliatory evictions happening across Sacramento. According to La Shelle Dozier, Executive Director of the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency that is in charge of distributing rent relief funds through their SERA program, since the end of the statewide eviction moratorium on Sept 30th, SERA has received over 3000 applications from Sacramento renters with some kind of eviction notice. Without a lawyer to represent her, Eduviges Garcia, a grandmother, Mexican refugee on asylum, and monolingual Spanish speaker, lost her eviction case in court after being unable to compete with her lawyered landlord at Garcia Realty. Eduviges is a member of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and will hold a press conference with her family and fellow ACCE members, outside of her landlord’s home to urge for more time until she is able to find a new place to live.
WHAT: Press Conference to Stop the Thanksgiving Eviction of Women and Children
WHEN: Monday, November 22th at 11:00AM.
WHERE: Outside of Garcia Realty, 2100 28th St, Sacramento, CA, 95818
WHO: Eduviges Garcia, her family and Sacramento ACCE members
Eduviges argues that the main reason she is being evicted is because she currently owes $9,250 in rent and utilities after she and her daughters lost income due to COVID-19. Moreover she has had issues where she submitted requests for repairs to Garcia Realty, which often went unfulfilled or were poorly handled. Some of the issues that Eduviges cites are water drainage issues and electrical issues that once resulted in electrocuting one of her daughters, who had to receive immediate attention from paramedics.
Eduviges also applied for the SERA2 Program in June 2021, which is supposed to protect tenants from rent-nonpayment evictions. Only days after the statewide eviction moratorium ended, a representative of Garcia Realty served Eduviges with an Unlawful Detainer (Eviction Lawsuit). On November 11 Eduviges was forced to defend herself at trial. Despite Eduviges receiving an update from the SERA2 Program on November 19th that her application had been approved, her landlord continues to refuse to allow her and her family to stay in their home. A change in the law now allows a landlord to receive government funds while still evicting the tenant.
Even with the protections against non-payment evictions in place for tenants who have applied for the Sacramento Emergency Rental Assistance (SERA2) Program, landlords continue to use eviction loopholes to kick tenants out. Without closing the loopholes in the eviction protections both locally and in state policy, ACCE anticipates an even greater surge in COVID related retaliatory evictions.
Monday’s action will be streamed on ACCE’s Facebook page.
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action is a grassroots, member-led, statewide community organization working with more than 16,000 members across California. ACCE is dedicated to raising the voices of everyday Californians, neighborhood by neighborhood, to fight for the policies and programs we need to improve our communities and create a brighter future.