Yesterday was an amazing day for housing equity: FIVE HOURS of testimony at the public hearing for the “COVID-19 Housing Equity bill” (H1434/S891), including powerful words from tenants and homeowners from our own region and across the state that brought home the devastating impact of threatened homelessness during COVID-19. The urgent need for eviction and foreclosure protection was heard loud and clear.


Twenty of our own Western MA legislators submitted powerful testimony in support of this bill; Representative Lindsay Sabadosa was able to testify directly today and amplify those words.  Northampton Mayor Narkwicz shared the local urgency in his testimony as did Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy in her testimony. The Network offered testimony capturing the depth and breadth of our region’s call for state action.


Mayors Bernard, LaChapelle, Tyer and Wedegartner and Town Manager Bockleman and over 50 Western MA organizations – all 4 community colleges, all 4 MassHire Career Centers, all 4 United Way affiliates, Baystate Health, Trinity Health, Cooley Dickinson Hospital and dozens more leading community organizations, many of you here on this list, signed on to the statewide Homes for All MA letter urging passage.

There are two things you can do to join this collective push:

  1. Submit your own testimony in writing by TODAY, FRIDAY, August 13 at 5 pm in support of the bill. Email testimony to luke.oroark@mahouse.gov. See testimony linked above for examples but short and sweet is just great (Talking Points are here fyi).  
  2. Join the 50 Western MA organizations and 150 others statewide if you haven’t already by signing on to this Homes for All letter urging adoption of this bill.

Check out the media coverage on our recent actions:

Springfield Republican: Western Mass. legislators, community organizations urge eviction relief during COVID surge
Daily Hampshire Gazette: Advocates, lawmakers urge action on housing equity bill
And more from WAMC and WWLP News, with more in the works.

Thanks for your partnership – let’s keep it up to win the protection everyone deserves!

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