Wu Administration Will Pause Mass And Cass Evictions Amid ACLU Lawsuit

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city will pause its evictions of people from Mass. and Cass in the South End as a lawsuit from the ACLU goes through the courts. Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

UPDATE 4:45 11/17/21: Suffolk Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders denied the ALCU's request for a restraining order on the city dismantling tents at Mass. and Cass.

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city will pause its evictions of people living on Mass Ave. and Melnea Cass Boulevard in the South End on Wednesday morning, amid a Massachusetts ACLU lawsuit. Wu made the remarks at one of her first press conferences as mayor, in front of Boston City Hall.

The City and the ACLU went before a Suffolk Superior Court Judge on Wednesday, who decided to deny the ACLU's request for a restraining order on the dismantling of tents at Mass. and Cass.

"We will be pausing the removals while this is pending," she said. "Every day that goes by, the temperatures are colder and colder, and it is life or death for out residents that are unhoused living on the street. We need to move quickly to find short term solutions for stable, low threshold housing," she said after being asked a question on the City's plan for Shattuck Hospital.

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The lawsuit is accusing the City of Boston of violating the federal and Massachusetts Constitutions, and says that the people being removed from Mass and Cass are being summarily thrown out of their tents there without being offered other "viable" housing. The suit was filed as a class-action lawsuit on behalf of three people living at the intersection and others, for whom going to a temporary shelter is not a reasonable option.

The suit also claims that much of the plaintiff's property has been destroyed. Mayor Wu said the evictions would "not necessarily" continue even if the judge rules against the ACLU.

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