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International, national, state and local health and governmental authorities are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus named "SARS-CoV-2." and the disease it causes has been named "coronavirus disease 2019," abbreviated COVID-19, ("COVID-19"). In response to this emergency, on March 3, 2020, the City Manager acting as the Director of Emergency Services declared a local State of Emergency based on COVID-19 (hereinafter referred to as "the Local Emergency"), which the City Council subsequently ratified on March 10, 2020. On April 21, 2020, June 16, 2020, July 28, 2020, September 22, 2020, November 17, 2020, December 15, 2020, February 9, 2021, March 30, 2021, May 25, 2021, July 20, 2021, September 14, 2021, December 14, 2021, February 8, 2022, March 22, 2022, May 10, 2022, June 28, 2022, and July 26, 2022, September 14, 2021, December 14, 2021, February 8, 2022, March 22, 2022, May 10, 2022, June 28, 2022, July 26, 2022, September 20, 2022, November 3, 2022, December 13, 2022, January 31, 2023, and March 21, 2023 the council ratified an extension of the local emergency. In addition, on March 4, 2020, the Governor declared a state of emergency in California and the President of the United States declared a national state of emergency on March 13, 2020 regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

On March 16, 2020, the City of Berkeley Public Health Officer, along with several other neighboring jurisdictions issued a Shelter in Place Order directing all individuals living in the City of Berkeley to shelter at their place of residence except that they may leave to provide or receive certain essential services or engage in certain essential activities, and prohibiting non-essential gatherings and ordering cessation of non-essential travel. On March 31, 2020 this Shelter in Place Order was extended to May 3, 2020, and restricted activities further.

Furthermore, on March 16, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order N-28-20, specifically authorizing local governments to halt evictions for commercial tenants, residential tenants, and homeowners who have been affected by COVID-19, emphasizing that the economic impacts of COVID-19 have been significant and could threaten to undermine housing security as many people are experiencing material income loss as a result of business closures, the loss of hours or wages or layoffs related to COVID-19, hindering their ability to keep up with rents, mortgages and utility bills.

The Order also stated that because homelessness can exacerbate vulnerability to COVID-19, Californians must take measures to preserve and increase housing security for Californians to protect public health and specifically stated that local jurisdictions may take measures to promote housing security beyond what the state law would otherwise allow.

On April 21, 2020, Alameda County enacted an urgency ordinance prohibiting eviction for any reason other than withdrawal of rental property under the Ellis Act or court-ordered eviction for public safety. Although the Alameda County ordinance does not have effect within the incorporated area of Berkeley, it is desirable to ensure that Berkeley residents have at least the same level of protection as the residents of unincorporated Alameda County.

During this State of Emergency and during the transition period thereafter, and in the interests of protecting the public health and preventing transmission of the COVID-19, it is essential to avoid unnecessary displacement and homelessness. It is the intent of this Ordinance to fully implement the suspension of the statutory bases for eviction for nonpayment of rent and for default in the payment of a mortgage as authorized by Executive Order N-28-20.

While COVID-19 remains prevalent in the community, the City has made significant progress in addressing the impacts of COVID-19, including a reduction in the rates of hospitalization and death, as well as a citywide vaccination rate of at least ninety-four percent (94%).

Governor Gavin Newsom has ended the statewide COVID-19 State of Emergency on February 28, 2023. President Joe Biden has ended the nationwide COVID-19 State of Emergency on May 11, 2023.

Based on the current conditions in the City of Berkeley related to COVID-19, and to stay consistent with state actions, the City Manager has recommended that the City Council terminate the local emergency.

The effect of this chapter suspending the statutory basis for eviction due to nonpayment of rent remains in effect throughout the Covered Period, which concludes on the expiration of the local emergency. BMC Section 13.110.030.A allows the City Council to extend the duration of the Covered Period by resolution.

This ordinance makes further amendments to Chapter 13.110 to permit lawful owner-move in evictions pursuant to BMC Section 13.76.130.A.9 and to establish a Transition Period until August 31, 2023, during which time specified evictions would be allowed to take place. (Ord. 7876-NS § 1, 2023; Ord. 7855-NS § 1, 2023; Ord. 7832-NS § 1, 2022; Ord. 7762-NS § 1, 2021; Ord. 7743-NS § 1, 2020: Ord. 7704-NS § 1 (part), 2020: Ord. 7698-NS § 1 (part), 2020: Ord. 7693-NS § 1 (part), 2020)