BOSTON, APR. 17, 2020 – On April 17, State Representative Bill Driscoll, Jr. (D – Milton) and his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and State Senate passed legislation that will provide a critical safety net for renters, homeowners, and small businesses grappling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus public health emergency.
The legislation prohibits all non-essential evictions and foreclosures and provides mortgage borrowers with forbearance options and protects tenants from late fees as well as other protections.
“Our first priority is protecting those who are most vulnerable, and many homeowners and renters need relief now from the economic strains building as a result of this public health emergency,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D – Winthrop). “We acted to safeguard tenants and homeowners from economic insecurity during and for a period after the state of emergency ends. I am grateful to Senate President Spilka for her partnership on these issues, and I thank Chairs Honan and Michlewitz for their work with members and stakeholders in moving this bill forward.”
"This legislation will offer much-needed assistance to thousands of the Commonwealth’s renters, homeowners, and small businesses," said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “During these difficult times, we need to be cognizant of our most vulnerable populations and help ensure that people will not lose their homes and businesses due to the effects of COVID-19. I want to thank Chairman Honan, Senator Crighton, and Senator Rodrigues for their partnership in getting this legislation passed quickly.”
“This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation we will pass during this state of emergency,” said Representative Kevin G. Honan, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing (D-Boston). “It is important to remember that this is more than just a housing justice issue, it is a public health issue. In a time where our collective health and safety depends on the ability of each and every one of us to shelter in place, the need for housing stability has never been greater.”
To address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its adverse impacts on renters, homeowners and small businesses, the bill includes the following components:
The bill, which is the latest action by the Legislature to address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its effects on Massachusetts, now heads to the Governor.