BOSTON — In less than a week, upwards of 100,000 people in Massachusetts who cannot afford to pay their rent may be faced with possible eviction.
An emergency eviction moratorium, currently in place protecting tenants, is set to expire on Saturday, Oct. 17.
On Sunday afternoon, dozens of people gathered at the Boston Common, raising the alarm to a possible eviction crisis if the moratorium is not extended or new legislation is not passed in time.
“We are in the midst of a crisis on so many fronts,” said Michelle Wu, a Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate.
City Life, a grassroots community organization, helped organize the rally.
Queen Mornum, one of the group’s members, told Boston 25 News that she fears those who are evicted may wind up on the streets.
“We see a lot of homeless people day to day driving down the street. It’s going to be 20 times worse,” she said.
State Rep. Mike Connolly also spoke at the rally and expressed concern that people could wind up displaced in the middle of winter.
He said that he supported an extension of the moratorium, and called on Governor Charlie Baker to pass a housing stability act, Bill H-5018 that would help both tenants and their landlords.
“I’m very afraid that our most vulnerable will get left behind and that will be catastrophic for our state,” Rep. Connolly said. “This legislation would through a variety of ways guarantee housing stability, and then also provide relief to landlords and homeowners to help them deal with the expenses and the debts that they have.”
Boston 25 News, with the help of a translator, also spoke to a woman named Lucia, a renter in Chelsea.
Lucia explained that she and her husband lost their jobs during the pandemic, and that their savings is now wiped out.
“My husband and I, we lost our jobs in March so it has been very difficult for us to pay rent without jobs,” she said through a translator.
“We haven’t been able to pay rent since June. It’s crazy. We don’t have the money to pay the rent. How then are we going to pay all of those months that we couldn’t pay?”
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