Students stuck with housing bills

On March 16, California Gov. Gavin Newson ordered an executive order under Government Code Sections 8567 and 8571 for renters and homeowners to halt evictions for individuals who have been affected by COVID-19. 

Based upon this order, the Butte County Superior Court ordered for the suspension of evictions within the county starting March 23.

With a pandemic sweeping the nation, some Chico State students are locked into their lease on campus and off campus housing while others seek shelter back home.

Upon the coronavirus situation and hundreds of students being laid off from their work or their jobs closing down until further notice, many students are contemplating their options and assessing how to continue with their obligations going forward.

“It’s an unfortunate situation having to pay rent when I am just trying to stay safe with my family in my hometown,’’ second-year student Alexxis Torres said. “I went back home because I didn’t want to be alone and away from my family when there’s a virus going on.”

While there are some relief measures in Gov. Newson’s orders, many students are still obligated to pay rent and other bills.

“The last thing anyone wants is to lose a safe place to call home,” Hill Properties said in an email. 

Student employees who were suspended or laid off from their job have to decide whether they want to stay in Chico or go back to their hometown and finish the rest of the semester there. No matter the option chosen, they are still obligated to pay their rent and bills. 

“I can rely on my parents for financial support,” fourth-year student Chu Kwu Amobi said. “However, there are students who don’t have that same support and they have to pay their bill.” 

“If you have suffered a job loss or other substantial loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are unable to pay rent, we encourage you to notify us as soon as possible to discuss potential alternative payment arrangements that may be made to accommodate your situation,” Hill Properties said in an email.

Under Gov. Newson’s executive order, individuals are still required to pay rent, landlords or lawful owners have to give more time for his/her tenants to pay rent. The order will be effective until May 31. 

Keyla De Los Santos can be reached at[email protected] or on Twitter @keyladls