BOSTON (CBS) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has extended the state’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for another 60 days. The law will keep tenants and homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in their homes during the state of emergency, even if they can’t make their rent or mortgage payments.
The ban was set to expire next month, but it’s now in place through Oct. 17.READ MORE: Retired professor runs Prison Book Program, giving inmates opportunities to learn
During the pause, landlords are prevented from sending notifications to residential tenants that threaten eviction.
The Baker Administration notes the law “does not relieve tenants or homeowners of their obligation to pay rent or make mortgage payments.”
Lisa Owens, Executive Director of City Life/Vida Urbana says this is a move in the right direction but she is calling on the Legislature to do more by passing a bill that would protect renters and homeowners from eviction and foreclosure for a full year.
The bill would also cap rent prices at pre-covid-19 levels.READ MORE: Massachusetts gas prices now at record high $4.60 a gallon
“Our state has record unemployment right now and people are struggling to pay their bills,” Owens said.
Today I extended the pause on evictions and foreclosures for 60 days until October 17.
This extension provides residents continued housing security as businesses cautiously re-open, more people return to work and we move toward a new normal.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) July 21, 2020
Doug Quattrochi, the Executive Director of advocacy group Mass Landlords, argues that the extension will unfairly burden mom and pop landlords.
“MAPC, the Metropolitan area planning council, estimates that there’s $60 million a month of unpaid rent,” Quattrochi said. He wants the state to step in and bear the cost.
“The Commonwealth should guarantee rents out of future tax revenue. It will be a long time before we’re able to recover from this and people will need a long time to recover so let’s just promise everyone that housing now and the cost will be paid somehow in the future,” Quattrochi said.MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
Earlier this month the state launched a $20 million fund for emergency rent and mortgage payments that also helps landlords who need to pay expenses.