The eviction crisis is upon us, the Legislature must act
An eviction and foreclosure crisis looms in Massachusetts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s August eviction moratorium extension in areas of high coronavirus spread offered a temporary reprieve to this mounting catastrophe, though it was not automatic and applied only if a tenant was made aware and declared it.
Yet last month, the Supreme Court struck down the ban — weeks before the moratorium was expected to end. Without strong legislative action, this leaves renters and homeowners with federally backed mortgages vulnerable to eviction, foreclosure, and the Delta variant as they navigate burdensome rental and mortgage relief applications.
As a former intern at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, and volunteer at Lynn United for Change, I’ve guided renters through lengthy, complex rental assistance applications. I have been on the receiving end of desperate conversations with parents, students, and workers who are facing eviction and struggling to navigate relief programs. Each conversation I have with them harkens back to my own childhood in homelessness, informing my understanding of the urgency of this moment. For each incomplete or denied application, yet another person will be faced with an eviction or a foreclosure notice, a ticket to Housing Court, and, at worst, their belongings discarded on the curb like trash as they are removed from their home.