City Council approves $500K emergency relief fund for struggling tenants | March 20, 2020 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - March 20, 2020

City Council approves $500K emergency relief fund for struggling tenants

Despite clearance from the governor, council members shy away from eviction moratorium

by Kevin Forestieri

The Mountain View City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to create a $500,000 renter assistance program to stave off evictions amid mounting wage losses and economic hardship caused by the new coronavirus.

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Email Kevin Forestieri at kforestieri


Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm

With 15,000 apartments rented at an average $3,000 per month, $500,000 will not help much: less that $200 total per per apartment. Staff suggested the $500,000 might help 50-100 broke families for a couple of months.
As to putting the cost on landlords by suspending 3-day notices to pay rent or get out, the money at stake for 15,000 apartments would be about $45 million each month. But no one has yet proposed that the rent be waived. So as soon as a suspension were lifted, landlords could demand all past-due rent in a 3-day notice and tenants who did not pay previously would likely not have the money to pay and could be successfully ousted in a short unlawful detainer action (3-6 weeks if there is room in court) So, this is a difficult spot - especially with some politicians pretending that businesses - like ice cream parlors - have an equally good argument to be subsidized by government or their landlords or banks. And many homeowners have mortgages due. And Saudi princes face depressed oil prices. And Trump family members are suffering from reduced income from foreign hotel guests. Quite a mess. A house of cards. We Americans might have wanted to better prepare for a viral pandemic. But who ever heard of Ebola? Who ever even watched a movie about pandemics such as Contagion in 2011? Maybe only Donald Trump's often-touted uncle (who taught for many decades at MIT) might have anticipated this stuff. He may have gotten the only real brains in the family - and he took his brain with him to the grave.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 20, 2020 at 9:52 pm

Well it looks like the courts have made the decision regarding evictions.

The Santa Clara County Court is practically shut down.

It looks also specifically that Unlawful Detainer cases are closed, and will not be processed by the court.

This in effect is a eviction moratorium because no one can be evicted without a hearing.


I agree with Gary, that this offer is completely inadequate, we are looking at a period of time that will probably at the earliest sow improvement in July or August.

$500,000 is only going to cover perhaps one month.

And after what I saw from the daily briefing at the White house, I have very little hope regarding a "quick" resolution. We are probably going to live like this for at least 1 to 2 years.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 21, 2020 at 2:35 am

Well. The City Council did not make an "offer" of $500,000 of other people's money to tenants who want help paying the rent. That was the total. In this country, there is no Constitutional or statutory "right" to housing or help paying for housing. Anyone can propose the establishment of such a "right." But someone must pay for it. Making landlords pay for your housing is one approach. Rent control is not quite making landlords pay - because the value (market rent) is partly the product of government market manipulation and other influence. It is a risk of doing business in providing housing for money. But a "right" to housing? You might want to talk to Bernie Sanders before he drops out.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 21, 2020 at 9:44 am


Just understand the new “reality” we are in.

It is reported that new jobless application for last week is over 2 million people. And that will increase significantly until this situation is over. And you cannot say that it was the workers fault that they are suffering job loss. Even Starbucks is closing, but they will only pay their workers till the end of the month. But this situation is not going to be corrected by then.

Gary, we are in a situation so severe that continuing with your logic will just make the situation extremely worse.

That is just the beginning because of the forced closure of more than 50% of work occurring in the country.

The stock market appears to be on the verge of complete collapse, once the value of shares of stocks typically go below 25% of their original value, they self-destruct. Look at Boeing lately?

The fact is that once we get to March 30, many loans taken to use to buy back shares of stock are going to be required a payment, and the Dow has lost more than 35% of its value. That means that the number of shares of stock bought under that loan will be smaller than the number that may need to be sold. Thus the number of shares required to resell to make payment will be 1.5 shares for every share that was purchased. On top of that the companies that have outstanding debt are going to have to make payment where in some cases, they are getting no income at all.

The simple reality is you are proposing to create the third wave of economic damage caused by the VIRUS and not the workers, massive homelessness.

Again it looks like this new reality may persist as long as 2 years. What did the U.S., the State of California, the County of Santa Clara, and the City of Mountain View do?


Thus you can throw your concept out the door at least until this crisis is over. It is very likely that eventually it will be ordered to cease collection of rents and mortgages because if you think the homeless problem is bad now, just wait until 20% of the say 100,000,000 workers in the United States cannot pay rent or mortgages. No that simply will not happen, the government under emergency power can order anything including establishment of housing as at least a temporary “right”.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 21, 2020 at 12:20 pm

@The Business Man. I did not suggest the government should let more people become homeless or die from a virus. I just pointed out that in this country, there is no "right" to housing or housing assistance. There are limited housing programs but no "right" to housing. You can argue for the establishment of such a right at any level of government - be it in limited circumstances or more generally. California voters added a "right" to an education to the State Constitution, for example. A bit vague. You might want to propose something more specific than a right to "housing" or to "shelter." Good luck. Meanwhile, you might argue for emergency assistance. The government may provide it - or not.

Posted by Renter
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 21, 2020 at 5:11 pm

How about a right for renters to not be priced out, as my friend is in Sunnyvale - no rent control. Who's moving people right now? That's not a necessary service.

How about a right to not have apartment viewing on property for sale? It's legal as far as I can tell, but it's not right. Do I have any rights to not allow strange groups of buyers into my kitchen, my bathroom? Nope.

It's really a sign that containment isn't a priority where there's money to be made. My opinion.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 21, 2020 at 11:41 pm

What I find incredible is that landlords are going to use the inability of people to go to work as a weapon against them under these circumstances.

And that the City Council is on the side of these people during this crisis.

It seems ironic that this disease may in fact destroy the god these people worship, the god of money.

Incredibly, the fact that most investments are on track to lose as much as 50% of their value. That the housing market is about to get hit with a depreciation that makes 2007 look small. That even the so called record stimulus being $2 trillion dollars won't make a dent given that the worldwide market loss we have already experienced which comes to $11.5 trillion as of March 16th from this article (Web Link

Let’s also realize that when this act fails to improve the market because the VIRUS is the source of the problem and it is not going away, there is very good chances that either the state of federal government will be forced to cease both rent and mortgages until the crisis is over.

Let’s face facts here, the economy is self-destructing. Due to all business operating with too much leverage. And the housing sector is the worst offender in this bunch, constantly borrowing money to keep itself afloat. Now that the housing sector is about to crash and burn from this news article (Web Link to levels that are almost 3 decades ago.

The simple issue is the VIRUS is the problem and there is no cure or vaccine even available for at least 6 moths to 2 years. Yes the reality is that landlords are about to go broke no matter what. And anyone not aware of it is in denial.

And trying to put the pain on tenants that had nothing to do with the problem is simply insane, or just the normal practice of the City Council being bribed or forced to do whatever the landlords and developers want. Especially those supporting Measure D. The irony is that right after Measure D failed, this VIRUS will be deal a death strike to those who were trying to manipulate the City Council anyway.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 22, 2020 at 3:17 pm

Now it looks like we are being classified as a "state of major disaster"

What things that should have been done once on January 30, 2020 the WHO declared a global pandemic should have been:

First, the takeover of the food supply process should have been done. The stores are slowly but surely going to run out of supplies because they operated under Just In Time operational model. And that model crashed once the VIRUS hit. We better get ready for having the military provide food and supplies to us very soon.

The housing cost holiday should have been declared because the economy is in effect shut down. More than 50% of all workers cannot do their jobs under the required social separation. The reality is that the majority of workers are going to have no income very soon.

Finally, an order providing direct support to people so that they are not in any threat of loss of housing, healthcare, and utilities necessary to survive this crisis.

The delay of this action is just making the situation worse.

Trump thinks a supercomputer will solve the problem? No it won't because whatever a computer simulates will still be needing testing at a scale that will establish if any "cure" or "vaccine" actually works, or is safe.

Our leaders, other than the actual medical professionals, are doing everything to make the most optimistic outlook, or appear that they have the situation under their "control" They do not, and the people need to get whatever assistance necessary to ride out this crisis.

Again if you can watch Contagion, it is a good example of what to expect here. The movie disease is more lethal, but the problem and its impact on the story is the same.

Did Donald Trump just say he has medications and he says "we'll see if they work".

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 22, 2020 at 4:28 pm

Hey, The Business Man. I caught and recommended the movie Contagion (2011) last week. It contains most of what is now being discussed. Don't spoil the ending.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 22, 2020 at 8:50 pm


What I understand is that Donald Trump was issued a required report involving the DHS and the CDC involving the requirement of governmental takeover of so many markets.

When he was told that he was required to take over these markets, he didn't like it and fired all people aware of it.

Notice how much he talks about public/private partnerships? Any mention of the removal of private industry is a threat to him and his supporters.

This is going to get very interesting because the reality will be he is being forced to do the one thing he is absolutely opposed to do. I can't wait to see the next chapter. Actually I know it but the rest of the world is going to amazed.

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