For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2021
“In Massachusetts, we have seen no lack of consequences from our political leaders’ tendency to
kick crises down the road, but this abdication of responsibility is particularly brutal.”
East Boston, MA – In the wake of the new, short-term eviction moratorium released by the Biden Administration today, former state senator, clean energy business leader, and current gubernatorial candidate Ben Downing renewed his call for urgent action from Beacon Hill to stem a tide of evictions in Massachusetts this fall.
“They shouldn’t need another chance. But this new order provides leaders on Beacon Hill with an opportunity to finally get eviction protection right,” said Downing. “They could have stepped up for our most vulnerable families months ago, when housing advocates sounded the alarm about the state’s cumbersome rental assistance process. They could have stepped up last week, when the panic button rang throughout the country as the first federal moratorium’s expiration came and went. Instead, they did worse than nothing – they actively went on recess, while Governor Baker had the audacity to take a PR tour of the state to tout his housing plan. Now, they have a 60-day grace period to get this right, to expedite rental assistance, to pass the COVID Housing Equity Act, and to ensure any family that does find themselves in eviction proceedings despite these protections has counsel by their side.
“Massachusetts has rental assistance available. We have a powerful housing advocacy community ready and willing to connect funding with families in need. What we do not have is political will on Beacon Hill. In Massachusetts, we have seen no lack of consequences from our political leaders’ tendency to kick crises down the road, but this abdication of responsibility is particularly brutal; a matter of safety and survival for the families struggling most, as COVID numbers spike again.”