By Bob Katzen

State Representatives Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge) and Kevin Honan (D-Boston) and Sen. Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) filed bills last week that would extend the current moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for failure to pay until one year after Governor Baker lifts the COVID-19 state of emergency. The proposals also freezes rents for the same period of time and creates a fund to aid those unable to pay housing costs due to the pandemic. The current moratorium ends on August 18 and supporters say that without the extension, there could be tens of thousands of tenants evicted.

Sen. Jehlen said an estimated 125,000 families are expected to be at risk and argued the extension of the moratorium will save lives. “The scale of the problem is enormous,” said Jehlen. “The governor is allocating $20 million in federal funds for housing stability, which would not help even half of the 20,000 evictions the housing court expects to be filed when the moratorium ends. Just before it expires, over a million Massachusetts families will lose $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits and will have trouble paying rent.”

“While this Legislature passed the nation’s strongest eviction and foreclosure moratorium back in April, we know that many families are still struggling to pay their rents and mortgages,” said Honan. “A mass number of evictions in August when the moratorium ends will create not just a housing emergency, but a serious public health risk. We must do everything we can to promote housing stability while we continue ride out this first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“If we fail to act now, we will face a massive wave of evictions and foreclosures,” said Connolly. “The consequences will likely be new surges of infection, increased displacement, further destruction of neighborhoods and increased numbers of people experiencing homelessness. This unprecedented crisis requires strong action to protect vulnerable residents, safeguard public health, and set the stage for a strong and equitable economic recovery.”


  1. Let me understand this you freeze rents,, halt evictions and say there is not enough funding to assist people?
    Its bad enough that homeowners are cast as bad people because they have property. But why does government cater to these transient, privileged, people who WANT to live here not need to live here.

    Where is the assistance for property owners who will have to pay their taxes, the water bill, the mortgage and repairs along with needed upgrades.

    It is time for you elected officials to open your eyes and realize you are not truly helping anyone by ignoring the taxpaying property owners whether large or small. Those that have stayed the course living, working, playing and investing in this city before the six figured wage earners wanted to live here.

    Somerville has always been a great city but if you continue to create a divide it will someday return to its dark days. The EMPEROR has run enough of the good Somervillians that wanted to remain.

    I ask of you bill pushing politicians how many of you own a multifamily and are not receiving your rent??? Mr. Connolly your assistant just bought his plush condo in the East end where the final stages of gentrification are occurring running old Somerville and new along with the little bit of diversity that remains.

    And be sure not to forget the Purple People because they deserve respect as well.


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