I mentioned the other day the foreclosure and eviction moratorium legislation that has passed the House. State Rep. Mike Connolly is putting together a coalition for a whole host of actions, at https://rentfreeze.org. ProgressiveMass is also asking for phone calls to legislators to support this agenda.
- Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures during the COVID-19 emergency — HD.4935 filed by Reps. Connolly and Honan, now moving through the legislative process.
- Temporary Rent Freeze and Protections for Tenants who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 emergency — draft published on April 1 and now available for public comment. Ensures any rent that goes unpaid as a result of lost income during the COVID-19 emergency cannot be used as the basis for evicting a tenant during the emergency or after, and provides stability for tenants for at least 12 months after the emergency ends, while also stopping negative credit reporting against tenants.
- Homeowner Protection Act — SD.2889, filed by Sen. Moore and co-sponsored by Rep. Connolly and several others. Establishes a forbearance program for mortgagees.
- Anti-Eviction Protections for Small Businesses, Restaurants, and Local Retail — legislation now under development, as recommended by the recent report Grassroots Relief For Main Street.
- Right to Counsel Legislation — bills filed by Sens. DiDomenico, Reps. Rogers, Day, and Tyler, and co-sponsored by Rep. Connolly and others, to ensure low income people have access to resources to prevent eviction and stabilize housing.
- Tenant Protection Act — H.3924, filed by Reps. Connolly and Elugardo, now pending before Housing Committee, would lift the statewide ban on rent control and allow municipal officials to craft protections that make sense on the local level. In addition, HD.4956, filed by Reps. Sabadosa and Mark and co-sponsored by Rep. Connolly and others, would lift the statewide ban on rent control for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.
- Housing For All — H.3887, filed by Rep. Connolly and pending before the Revenue Committee, seeks hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding to help end homelessness via a tax on large corporations.
We are now headed for a housing/housing-finance disaster if we don’t give immediate help. Honestly even with forebearance, a lot of mortgages are going to fail. More — a lot more — federal help will be needed; the funding should be directed to payers, not lenders.
In other words … all this is the least we should be doing.