SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco is pondering an end date for the city’s “COVID-19 State of Emergency,” and the move would terminate existing bans on home eviction for COVID-related hardship.

San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston introduced legislation Tuesday for a 60-day extension that would allow for a “wind-down period” protecting renters from losing their homes overnight.

“If we let protections expire overnight and without warning, we’re heading straight off an eviction cliff,” Preston said.

Preston, who was a tenant attorney for two decades, said, “Extending these protections is crucial to making sure we can get remaining funds for rent relief to tenants in need.”

San Francisco allocated more than $71 million dollars for rent relief, which to date has helped more than 6,000 households avoid displacement and crushing rent debt.

There remains approximately $24 million in unspent funds, according to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, funds that are expected to prevent displacement and debt for another 3,000 households.

“We can’t let our eviction protections expire while we work to get funds out the door to help keep people in their homes,” Preston said.

Other Bay Area cities are also considering extending their eviction protections. Last month, the City of Berkeley voted to create a “transition period,” with most evictions banned until August 31.

“This legislation is essential to provide a buffer of protection for San Francisco’s low income tenant community,” said Ora Prochovnick, Director of Litigation & Policy at the Eviction Defense Collaborative.

Prochovnick continued, “Extending these protections for 60 days beyond the declaration of emergency is a win win, causing no real detriment to anyone as the unpaid rent remains collectable even if not evictable, while on the other hand, summarily lifting the protections without a time to adapt would exacerbate the City’s underlying homelessness and affordable housing problems.”