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Sacramento County Board Votes 'No' On Ordinance, Dozens Face Holiday Homelessness

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — No hope to stay home for some renters after the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors failed to pass an emergency ordinance Tuesday.

The ordinance would have saved more than 50 people from becoming homeless, right before the holidays. The proposal was for a moratorium on "no-fault" evictions, where landlords throw out tenants who have done nothing wrong.

Residents now facing eviction say they can't afford to move. Fifty-four tenants at Bell Oaks in Arden-Arcade received 60- and 90-day eviction notices, for doing nothing wrong. That includes Debbie Stollery, 68, who said her rent takes up most of her social security check, and if shes kicked out, she has nowhere to go.

CBS13 found her in tears after the vote.

"I still have to find a place, find a truck and other than that I have to put my stuff in storage and live out of my car until I get together the money to move," she said.

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A state law capping rent increases and putting new restrictions on evictions goes into effect on January 1st. Tenants say the deadline tempts landlords to kick out tenants in order to hike rents without limit.

Dozens of speakers pleaded to the board Tuesday about what could happen if this ban didn't pass.

"I've talked to single moms who are facing evection who tried to kill themselves when they lost their housing," said one neighbor.

In a letter from the apartment owners, Beahm Living Trust shared the company will now give $2,500 in moving expenses and a refund of the security deposit to all tenants.

Leaders with the California Apartment Association says the moratorium could create more problems.

"There are a lot of circumstances out there that would be disruptive and so sometimes, if you try to fix something, you create more problems," said Jim Lofgren.

But board member Phil Serna says landlords are gaming the system. He says he's embarrassed by Tuesday's decision.

"In my almost nine years on the board, this is the most shameful day that I've ever experienced," he said.

The board needed a supermajority vote to pass the proposal, but two board members voted no. That includes Susan Peters, the Bell Oaks Apartment Complex falls in her district. Sue Frost also voted "no" on the ordinance.

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