In response to COVID-19-related hardships, Massachusetts implemented an eviction moratorium in April 2020 that the Governor extended in July but allowed to expire on October 17, 2020. Instead of another extension, the Baker-Polito Administration has announced the “Eviction Diversion Initiative” intended to protect tenants from evictions and homeowners from foreclosure, by providing financial relief to landlords and property owners.
The Initiative is funded with $171 million and allows landlords to apply for financial assistance if they refrain from evicting tenants facing COVID-19-related hardships. The Housing Court mediation program has also been expanded with increased access to pro bono legal services within the Housing Court and rehousing resources for evicted tenants. The Initiative is intended to prevent evictions and foreclosures for 6 months, or through June 2021 for families with children in school, to ensure housing and economic stability during the pandemic.
With expiration of Massachusetts moratorium, the CDC moratorium will continue to provide protection to certain tenants through December 31, 2020, described in a previously publication here.
The Administration’s press release concerning the initiative can be found here.