No one should lose their home during a public health emergency. That's why one of the top recommendations from MPHA's Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity is a temporary moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.
MPHA has been working hard with our partners to turn this policy recommendation into reality. We are grateful to State Representatives Mike Connolly and Kevin Honan for filing HD 4935, which would suspend all Massachusetts evictions and foreclosures for the full duration of the Commonwealth's State of Emergency.
Senate leadership has also indicated support for this issue in concept, but we are disappointed that the bill moving now in the Senate is weak and will leave far too many people at risk. Specifically, the Senate version lacks the following protections:
There is no explicit ban on the filing of new eviction cases,
There is no ban on Notices to Quit or termination of tenancy letters (this is important, because many tenants leave when they are served an eviction notice without ever contesting it in court),
There is no ban on carrying out levies of execution, meaning that landlords can throw tenants out on the street now for cases that happened before the emergency, and
The duration of the moratorium may mean that the bill expires before the state of emergency is lifted, likely leading to confusion among landlords and tenants.
Families are struggling as never before in the face of this unprecedented outbreak, and they need our help. Although some limited protections have been put in place by the Baker Administration and the federal CARES Act (for mortgages and rental units that are underwritten by the federal and state governments), there are still no protections in place for homes with privately backed mortgages and private rental units. Please take action today and make your voice heard.