There are two eviction record sealing bills pending in the Legislature right now, and neither one provides tenants ANY version of automatic sealing. We need to change that! 

Action Steps:
Contact your Representative and Senator with this brief ask: “please support automatic sealing of dismissals, cases that tenants win, and no-fault evictions in both the HOMES Act/H.4356 and the Bond Bill/H.4138.” Find your legislator contact info here. See (and share) this fact sheet.

Contact the chairs of the Joint Committee on Bonding (Chair Mike Finn and Vice Chair Paul Mark are from western MA!) to urge them to “substitute HOMES Act/H.4356 for Section 47 of the Bond Bill/H.4138 with automatic sealing provisions.”  Check out the HOMES Advisory Committee letter to the Bonding Committee that outlines the recommendations.

One quick email or phone call on this will make a difference. And it’s a difference we need if we’re going to get an eviction record sealing bill that actually provides tenants the protections they need and deserve.

Additional Background:

There are two bills with eviction record sealing protections currently pending:

H.4356 (HOMES Act) reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee to the House Steering, Policy & Scheduling Committee which advanced the bill to Third Reading with new language providing that tenants can petition to seal cases that are dismissed and cases that they win (lead sponsors Senator Lydia Edwards and Representative Michael Moran).

H.4138 (Governor’s Housing Bond Bill, Section 47) the Housing Committee held a hearing in January. Many advocated that cases that are dismissed, cases that tenants win, and no-fault evictions be automatically sealed by the court instead of requiring each tenant to go to court and file a petition. The Housing Committee reported the Bond Bill to the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets with no changes. 

What is the difference between the two bills?

There are significant differences between the bills. Here is a fact sheet with a table showing the differences. 

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