As news broke last week announcing Chelsea was a
hotspot for COVID-19
infections, Chelsea Collaborative staff and volunteers mobilized to ensure that every member of our community is fed, housed, accessing unemployment, and receiving the medical care that they need.
COVID-19 has brought the Chelsea housing crisis to a new level - with the virus spreading rapidly throughout overcrowded apartments, families forced to choose between buying groceries and paying their rents, and subleasing tenants (those who rent a room from another tenant) still facing homelessness despite a statewide moratorium on evictions.
We cannot slow the spread of the virus or prevent more COVID-19 deaths without immediate housing relief to ensure that all members of our community are stably housed throughout the crisis, and can access space to quarantine as needed.
We are grateful to city and state officials working to
to Chelsea and open emergency housing options at local hotels for more Chelsea residents. In addition, we are calling on state officials to take the following steps to provide immediate housing relief to the state's most vulnerable families:
- Quickly send the Governor an equitable COVID eviction protection bill containing language forcing landlords to send important multilingual eviction protection information to tenants.
- Pass the Safe Driving Bill so individuals and families can access Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) funding and other essential programs and services needed to stabilize.
- Grant families rental amnesty because we know that many low-income families will not be able to pay back rent and still recover financially from COVID-19.
- Pass Right to Counsel legislation and increase access to free legal aid for tenants facing eviction when Governor Baker's emergency order ends.