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(a) The City and County of San Francisco is facing an unprecedented public health and economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayor declared a state of emergency on February 25, 2020, and on March 16, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order N-28-20 (E.O. N-28-20), which found that the COVID-19 pandemic is having severe impacts throughout the State, and which recognized that local jurisdictions must take measures based on their particular needs to prevent displacements and to protect public health and mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic. Paragraph 2 of E.O. N-28-20 initially allowed local governments to enact measures to protect commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19 from being evicted due to non-payment through May 31, 2020. Through a series of follow-up orders (Executive Orders N-66-20, N-70-20, and most recently Executive Order N-80-20), the Governor has ordered that the protections of paragraph 2 of E.O. N-28-20 will remain in effect through March 31, 2021, unless the Governor orders otherwise.
(b) On March 19, 2020, the Mayor issued a Fourth Supplement to the February 25 emergency proclamation (and the Mayor later issued an Eighth Supplement to clarify the intent of the Fourth Supplement), and a Twenty-Eighth Supplement to extend its terms, to protect certain commercial businesses in the City from eviction, based on the severe financial impacts of the pandemic and the public health risks that may result from such impacts. These measures have protected many tenants from being evicted, but would allow some evictions to resume as soon as December 1, 2020.
(c) The Board of Supervisors hereby finds that the findings in the orders and directives referenced in subsections (a) and (b) remain valid and compelling, requiring the further extension of commercial eviction controls for certain commercial tenants who could not pay rent that came due under the Executive Orders. An extension is necessary to prevent businesses from displacement, mitigate broader economic harms, and address the public health risks that may otherwise result.
(d) Mindful that restricting evictions for non-payment may burden landlords, the Board of Supervisors has endeavored to prioritize tenants and landlords most in need of protection. It is reasonable to prioritize tenants based on the number of employees, as a tenant with more employees will, generally speaking, be likely to have greater ability to pay rent and a greater ability to absorb financial losses as compared to a business with fewer employees. It is also reasonable to exclude for-profit tenants occupying office space; the City cannot afford to lose commercial tenants, but as more office employers transition to remote work, and given the resilience of the industries that have typically occupied office space in the City, this exclusion is appropriate. Likewise, it is reasonable to grant a hardship exception to smaller landlords, as larger landlords are relatively more likely to be able to withstand any financial impact that the pandemic and these eviction restrictions may impose on them.
(e) The protections of this Chapter 37C shall only apply to rent payments that came due between March 16, 2020 and March 31, 2021, inclusive (or if the Governor extends the effective period of paragraph 2 of E.O. N-28-20 past March 31, 2021, through the date of extension).