BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Lawmakers and local leaders are urging Gov. Charlie Baker to extend the Commonwealth's eviction and foreclosure moratorium, which is set to expire on Saturday October 17th.
The state's ban on evictions and foreclosures was enacted early in the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing the "non-essential evictions" of tenants, including for non-payment.
Earlier this week, Gov. Baker announced a $171 million initiative meant to help those tenants stay in their homes, while easing the ongoing expenses impacting their landlords. However, local housing advocates said access to those funds will not be immediately available, so Gov. Baker needs to do more.
In a written statement released Thursday, Rep. Ayanna Pressley said Baker should act now to help the thousands of families in Massachusetts who may be facing eviction this weekend.
"Ending the moratorium now would put our most vulnerable families in harm’s way," Pressley said. “With a stroke of a pen, Governor Baker could prevent the looming eviction tsunami."
As Boston.com reports, Attorney General Maura Healey also said Baker needs to ensure the eviction ban doesn’t end before vulnerable residents can access the relief programs, which the state said may not be available for several weeks.
"We are concerned that this moment, as the temperature gets colder and COVID-19 infection rates are increasing, is not the right time for evictions to resume if the protections we need are not yet in place," Healey said. "Too much is at stake when it comes to the health and safety of our residents."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal CDC eviction moratorium will take effect after the state moratorium expires.
The CDC's eviction ban runs through December 31st, preventing evictions for non-payment for tenants who meet certain income and vulnerability criteria, and submit a written declaration to their landlord.
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