In the Wake of Oakland Lifting its Eviction Moratorium, the East Bay Community Law Center is Prepared to Meet an Anticipated “Eviction Tsunami”

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July 13, 2023


For more than three years, the East Bay Community Law Center has partnered with our clients and peers to uphold the longest, strongest COVID-19-era eviction moratorium in the country. This critical public policy has kept people healthy, housed, and safe during one of the deadliest periods in U.S. history. On Saturday, July 15, Oakland, the largest city in Alameda County, will lift its eviction moratorium, ushering in the final phase of one of the most robust tenant protections in Alameda County.

In March 2020, while the world was grappling with an unprecedented health pandemic, EBCLC sprang into action. We intimately understood the danger facing our clients and their communities, and so pushed for housing policy to be integrated with healthcare. We passed one of the first eviction moratoriums in the country and created a compassionate, common-sense model for the federal eviction moratorium, jurisdictions throughout the Bay Area and around the country,” said Executive Director Zoë Polk.

With the sunsetting of the Oakland eviction moratorium, landlords will be permitted to file eviction lawsuits for nonpayment of rent accrued after July 15, 2023, and any other just cause. An anticipated “eviction wave” will occur while Oakland is already experiencing one of its worst housing crises ever. As eviction moratorium protections expired in cities around Alameda County, the number of eviction lawsuits has more than exploded. Under the moratorium, the county averaged less than 100 eviction lawsuits per month. In the last 2.5 months, more than 1,000 eviction lawsuits have been filed.

EBCLC uniquely understands the looming eviction cliff. Over 50% of the law center’s housing clients reside in Oakland. Women of color are disproportionately impacted by housing insecurity. One out of every three eviction defense clients at EBCLC are Black women, and over 40% of the women of color clients seeking our Housing Program’s services (including eviction defense) have a child under 18 in their home.

As Oakland residents face the unjust consequences of local eviction moratoria being lifted, EBCLC is bolstering our legal services. We have launched weekly answer clinics to prepare legal filings for the surge in new evictions and continue to hold our tenant rights workshops where people can meet directly with our team members to get urgent, actionable legal advice. In addition, we are ramping up policy advocacy to hold local government and corporate landlords accountable,” said Housing Co-Director Meghan Gordon. “We saw up close the devastation of the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, and are committed to preventing a long-term, structural disaster that disproportionally impacts women of color.  We need our partners in government to pass comprehensive tenant protection legislation and adequately resource legal aid.

For more information, please contact: Nina Thiebert, Communications Officer –, 510.254.5220 ext. 321,

The East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) envisions a California where Black and Indigenous communities, and those at the intersection of multiple oppressions, are positioned to realize thriving, healthy, and dignified lives with our three-pronged approach of direct legal service, legal clinical education, and statewide policy advocacy. For over 30 years, EBCLC has prioritized defending eviction lawsuits against low-income tenants and enforcing local rent and eviction control ordinances.