The following photoblog sheds light on the undue housing-anxiety experienced by UCI students who lived in Irvine Company housing.
March 19, 2020,California Governor Gavin Newsom declared in an executive order to shelter-at-home to prevent more outbreaks of COVID-19. However, the excessive lease-termination fees that Irvine Company charges tenants who can no longer afford rent is unconscionable.
On March 23,2020, Irvine Company released a “Rent Assist Program” that allows tenants to defer 50% of April and May rent payments over a 6 month period, interest-free. But what if students simply can’t live in Irvine Company housing? To live in close proximity to one another violates the governor’s social distancing guidelines And UCI canceled all in person classes to comply with the governor’s social distancing guidelines. However, it appears that students are penalized by their landlord (i.e., Irvine Company) for practicing social distancing. What if students lost their jobs and cannot afford rent? What if students can’t afford to cancel their lease? What if students’ parents lost their jobs and are unable to afford the termination fee either? Why doesn’t the UCI administration help student tenants negotiate with Irvine Company?
Why do students have to pay the consequences of a crisis that is out of their control?
Students report their urgent concerns about the manner in which Irvine Company has handled lease terminations in this time of crisis.
We have cultivated an honest and open dialogue in hopes that the gravity of the situation will further shed light on the struggles many students and non-students alike face when housing is concerned in California.