Mayor, real estate associations call for eviction moratorium

by Kasey Chronis

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, a self-imposed moratorium on evictions in Boston has been agreed to by the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, the Massachusetts Apartment Association, the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations and Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

The various entities are encouraging property owners to implement the moratorium on evictions for 90 days, with reviews every 30 days, according to a press release from Walsh’s office. The moratorium is also supported by Trinity Financial, Winn Residential, The Community Builders and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations.

“Our primary focus in Boston is protecting our residents and ensuring they are safe and healthy as we work to stop the spread of coronavirus,” Walsh said in the press release. “Housing stability is crucial at this time, and I thank the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and the property owners throughout our city for working to minimize the disruptions to our residents during this challenging time. Through these measures to protect residents, we will continue our work to promote the wellbeing of every community in our city.”

Greg Vasil, CEO and president of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, said in a statement that it is vital “to do our part to minimize the anxiety and health risk to our tenants.”

“This moratorium could last up to 90 days, with decisions being reviewed every 30 days,” Vasil added. “The halting of evictions will apply to those who are directly impacted by economic loss due to the coronavirus outbreak. We understand the pressure residents are feeling during this crisis, and ensuring Bostonians have a safe, stable home is always our goal.”

The announcement follows a decision by the city of Boston and the Boston Housing Authority to issue letters urging housing court to reconsider non-essential evictions of residents. The Mayor’s Office also noted that the Boston Housing Authority is working to suspend filing and prosecution of all Housing Court cases and other matters concerning non-essential eviction actions. “This includes cases where the health and safety of others is not part of the suit. It also includes all non-payment, no-fault cases, and cause-related cases,” the press release noted.

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