Looming Eviction Threat Could Soon Be Quelled

Elizabeth Rucker suspected she and her four housemates in Roxbury might have trouble making their April rent of $3,800 because the shift to remote work had impacted all their jobs. They did manage to pay, a few days late. But, she said, they still received a notice from their landlord warning them to pay up or prepare to move.

“Many people might think that they had to just leave,” Rucker said. “We happened to be able to pay rent this month, but … we’re concerned for ourselves for future months that we wouldn’t be able to pay.”

Even though Chief Housing Court Justice Timothy F. Sullivan has suspended most eviction proceedings in the state, a number of renters are still receiving initial notices like the one Rucker received. Some landlords have been filing them in court, queuing up cases that could proceed once the suspension is lifted…

Lawmakers in the Massachusetts House advanced a compromise bill Wednesday to address the issue…

…[A]dvocates like Joseph Michalakes, a housing attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services, expect the final bill to contain provisions to prevent landlords from losing their homes, as well.

“When we talk about what we need to do in terms of a strong moratorium, we’ve always talked about it in terms of evictions and foreclosures,” he said, noting the House and Senate bills contain provisions for both. “You have to address the needs of renters and the needs of homeowners, especially small homeowners, at the same time.” Read more from WGBH.