IE nurse's aide who cares for COVID-19 patients faces eviction despite paying rent

A nurse's aide at a Riverside Kaiser Permanente who cares for COVID-19 patients says she was served an eviction notice despite not being behind on rent.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020
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A nurse's aide at a Riverside hospital who cares for COVID-19 patients says she was served an eviction notice despite not being behind on rent.

RIALTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Claudia Mojica is a nurse's aide at a Kaiser Permanente in Riverside, caring for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, but she was not prepared for what was waiting for her April 14 at her home of 11 years.

"When he served me with an eviction notice right away, it just... it threw me off," she said.

She was surprised because a Rialto city ordinance temporarily prohibits evictions for failure to pay rent, but Mojica is not behind on rent.

Eyewitness News reached out to her landlord, but did not hear back, and for anyone with the Rialto City Council to clarify if Mojica was protected from eviction, but no one was available.

Adding to the confusion, simply looking for a new place is difficult given Mojica's work at the hospital and physical distancing requirements.

"To even see a house, it's kind of limited," Mojica said. "That's where I'm finding it hard."

"If you're evicted, how do you move? How do you get a moving truck? How do you get a bunch of people to help you move?" Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin said. "Basically, if you get an eviction notice now and you get locked out, you're being forced out into the streets."

Bonin spoke with Eyewitness News about his efforts to halt evictions completely until the pandemic is over and understands Mojica's confusion.

"There is a patchwork and a maze of different rules up and down the state," Bonin said. "They differ from city to city, and it's confusing the hell out of tenants."

L.A.'s eviction moratorium ends when the local emergency does, but it is unlikely the economy will rebound to the point where renters can quickly repay back rent.

"There is still an undeniable fear and a predictable reality that once this ends there's going to be a tidal wave of evictions," Bonin said. "That under the protections that have been done so far, we're just stalling the evictions rather than letting them happen now. We need to prevent them entirely."

Bonin tells Eyewitness News the California Judicial Council will not process evictions until 90 days after the pandemic ends. Evictions can be served, but renters will not have to vacate.

"An easy way to end this confusion is to say to landlords, you can't even serve that notice until after this pandemic," Bonin said.

Meanwhile, Mojica is left wondering what will happen.

"Give me six months, give me five months to look for something, but 60 days is almost unreal," Mojica said.

The Eviction Defense Network and Coalition for Economic Survival are resources that can help navigate you through the eviction process.