Mayor Walsh Talks Plan To Reduce Evictions By 25 Percent

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. (Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh unveiled a new plan this month that aims to reduce the number of evictions in the city.

The plan's goal is to cut back evictions in “private market-rate housing by 25 percent” in the next five years, as well as reduce evictions in subsidized housing by 33 percent in five years.

These objectives are outlined in a newly released report, conducted in part by officials with the Office of Housing Stability, that analyzed cases from the Eastern Housing Court — the court that covers Boston.

The report found that lack of payment, or related causes like consistent late payments, are the reason behind about 75 percent of eviction cases.

It also found that people who are in subsidized housing are more likely to face eviction than those in private market-rate housing. And those who are evicted from subsidized housing “are at high risk of homelessness."

However, the report notes that there are still “many low-income tenants in market-rate housing who are similarly vulnerable.”

More than 34,000 of low-income renter households, excluding students, use about 50 percent of their income on paying rent, according to the report.

Mayor Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio that the city is trying to “create opportunities to keep people in their homes.”

“Over the last bunch of years, there’s been a lot of work on people losing their homes,” Walsh said. “A lot of the mortgages in the city of Boston were given where they had those adjustable rates… and basically put the cost out of reach for a lot of people.”

Walsh said that one step is finding out why people are being evicted. He said that sometimes there are “reasons” for eviction, but that “there’s some cases that somebody comes in, buys a building, empty it out, and the evictions happen.”

“In our own Housing Authority we have, unfortunately in certain cases, the need for eviction,” Walsh said. “But, where we can mitigate situations. I always love the chance to try to mitigate it first before we do it. And that’s what this cutting evictions down by 25 percent is about mitigation.

Listen to Mayor Marty Walsh's full response:

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