As the country responds to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, many states and municipalities are considering moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures. Such moves are in response to the widely accepted belief that many workers will have reduced or no income in the coming months and might face housing instability as a result. Massachusetts is no exception to this national trend.
In response to these pressures, on Friday, March 13, a group of legislators led by State Reps. Mike Connolly and Kevin Honan, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing, filed legislation to halt all evictions and foreclosures in Massachusetts for the duration of the coronavirus emergency. The bill, HD.4935, is titled “An Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID19 Emergency.” This is an emergency act and would take effect immediately if passed into law. HD.4935 deals solely with residential property, so commercial evictions and foreclosures could theoretically continue. The bill is also tied to the emergency declaration issued by Governor Baker (executive order number 591 dated March 10, 2020). Its effects would be retroactive to the date of the emergency declaration and would expire when the declaration is rescinded by the Governor.
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