Good evening, Neighbors.
Over the last few weeks, we have seen requests for rental and utility assistance rise dramatically. As the summer continues (and temperatures rise), we expect to see even greater need. Many rental assistance programs have run out of funding, leaving residents with few places to turn. Not enough has been done to help renters and homeowners during this time of crisis, and rent is due tomorrow.
There are several bills currently in the Massachusetts Legislature that would help renters and homeowners in Malden if passed, and we encourage all of our neighbors to reach out to your representatives! Your phone calls and emails do make a difference.
IN THE STATE HOUSE
Legislation Number: HD.5166
Title: An Act to guarantee housing stability during the COVID-19 emergency and recovery
Summary: HD.5166 was introduced by MA representatives Mike Connolly and Kevin G. Honan, and will equally benefit renters and landlords, keeping more Maldonians of all income levels in their homes. The Act would ensure that no renters can be evicted, no rents increased, and no foreclosures can proceed without due cause for 12 months following the end of Massachusetts’ emergency declaration. It also will provide emergency funding for middle and low income landlords and renters impacted by COVID-19.
Contact our Representatives:
STEVE ULTRINO (Co-Sponsor)
IN THE STATE SENATE
Legislation Number: S.2785
Title: An Act promoting housing stability and homelessness prevention through a right to counsel pilot program in Massachusetts in response to the COVID-emergency
Summary: S.2785 was introduced by MA representative Sal DiDominico to promote housing stability and prevent homelessness by enacting a right to counsel pilot program in response to the COVID-19 emergency. This program would provide legal representation to the most vulnerable renters in the Commonwealth including families, elderly, disabled, and other low-income individuals who might otherwise not be able to afford legal representation.
Contact our Representative:
JASON LEWIS (Petitioner)
Unfortunately, Bill 5166 does not assist the average small landlord in any way. Small landlords will not immediately qualify for emergency funding under this bill. The burden to prove that a tenant can pay rent is on the landlord, many of which obviously don’t have access to their tenant’s private financial information. And i may be wrong but I see no mention of tenants being held responsible for backpay the end of the pandemic… Which in essence means a tenant could be living rent free for an entire year+ without the landlord seeing any payments at all, either from the tenant or from the emergency Fund.