As soon as you can (how ’bout now?), please write Conference Committee members to urge them to adopt the Senate’s Amendments in the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget. Please see this action alert below from the Homes for All MA Coalition:
Please contact members of the budget conference committee to support inclusion of anti-eviction provisions in the state budget.
-1. Email ALL of these people ASAP:
Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues – (617) 722-1114, Michael.Rodrigues@masenate.gov
Senate Ways and Means Vice Chair Cindy Friedman – (617) 722-1432, Cindy.Friedman@masenate.gov
House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz – (617) 722-2990, Aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov
House Ways and Means Vice Chair Denise Garlick – (617) 722-2380, Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov
Sample message (edit/customize a bit if you can):
Dear conference committee members:
As a Massachusetts resident, I am asking you to please include Senate Outside Sections 47, 48, and 49 and Senate Amendments 336 and 389 in the final budget.
In the past few weeks there has been a big increase in informal and formal evictions and foreclosures across the state. It’s unfair for tenants and homeowners to be forced out of their homes because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s also a danger to public health to push people into overcrowded, unstable housing situations during a new spike in transmission.
What our communities really need is a law like the Housing Stability Act that will prevent evictions and foreclosures against people who fell behind on payments because of the impact of the coronavirus. In the meantime, including these provisions in the budget will help some tenants and give us more information to guide future actions:
• Senate Outside Section 47, Coronavirus Emergency Notices to Quit. So tenants know where to seek help and understand their legal rights.
• Senate Outside Section 48, Coronavirus Emergency Eviction Continuances. So tenants affected by COVID-19 are not evicted while waiting for a decision about their rental assistance application.
• Senate Outside Section 49, Eviction Diversion Initiative Data Collection. So we have data about evictions, notices to quit, rental assistance to help guide policy and implementation going forward.
• Senate Amendment 336, Ensuring Housing Protections During COVID-19. So tenants who fall behind due to COVID-19 are protected against permanent eviction records in some cases.
• Senate Amendment 389, Ensuring Access to All Forms of Rental Assistance. So the important protections in Outside Section 48 will apply to all forms of rental assistance.
– [your name and address]
2. If possible, please ALSO call House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz – (617) 722-2990 and leave a message.
Sample message for a call/voicemail:
Hi, this is [your name] from [your address]. I have a message for Representative Michlewitz. I want you to include Senate Outside Sections 47, 48, and 49 and Senate Amendments 336 and 389 in the final budget.
I think we should be doing more to protect tenants and homeowners against eviction and foreclosure. I know the numbers of evictions and foreclosures have been going up over the past few weeks… right at the same time the COVID-19 numbers have been increasing. In the future I hope you’ll support something like the Housing Stability Act. For now I hope you will take one step toward preventing evictions by including tenant protections in the final budget. Again, the things I want you to include are Senate Outside Section 47, Senate Outside Section 48, Senate Outside Section 49, Senate Amendment 336, and Senate Amendment 389. Thank you very much.