Housing Stability Is an Essential Part of the Cure for COVID

The following testimony was submitted to the Joint Committee on Housing.

Thank you chairs and members of the committee for reading our testimony.

As municipal leaders scramble desperately to find solutions to the onslaught of evictions they know are headed their way, the people must turn to the state legislature to quell the oncoming tsunami of homelessness that will destroy families and traumatize children if the state legislature does not act.

We urge you to pass S2831/H.4878 in order to end the threat of evictions posed by the sudden end of the current eviction moratorium in October. If families are required to pay back rent for almost half a year, there is no way those living paycheck to paycheck will be able to stay in their homes. If we don't provide a solution to this problem, we will have a catastrophe unlike any we have confronted before, as families are turned out of their homes en masse.

Please vote yes to allow a year long moratorium on evictions to give families the time they need to get back on their feet and forgive them their back rent since living paycheck to paycheck will not allow them the ability to accumulate the savings they will need to pay their back rent. There is no perfect solution to the housing emergency that confronts us, but this bill is the best solution to a difficult problem. It ensures housing stability for renters while also providing funds for smaller landlords who are also victims of the pandemic economy.

If you pass this into law, it would say a lot about who we are as a state and as human beings. Please show the compassion and responsibility to our citizens that we want to see in other states. You have an opportunity to show leadership to the entire country. Please pass S2831/H.4878.

Thank you,

Caroline Bays

Board President, Progressive Massachusetts

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