CityLine: Sunday, July 26, 2020: Halt on evictions & foreclosures


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KAREN: TODAY ON “CITYLINE,” CAN A WAVE OF LOOMING EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES BE AVOIDED? THE NAACP UPDATES US ON THEIR LATEST ACTIONS ON SOCIAL JUSTICE. ♪ GOOD AFTERNOON. I AND KAREN HOLMES WARD AND WELCOME TO “CITYLINE.” THE NAACP’S NATIONAL CONVENTION IS NOW GOING VIRTUAL. WE WILL TALK TO THE BOSTON PRESIDENT ABOUT HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE, AND SOME OF THE LEGAL ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE OLDEST CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION. GOVERNOR BAKER PUT THE BRAKES ON EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES FOR THOUSANDS OF MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS WHO LOST THEIR INCOMES DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. THE LOOMING DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 17. THE SECURITY MEASURE IS NOT INDEFINITE AND LANDLORDS FEEL THE MORATORIUM IS NOT FAIR. JOINING US IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FROM MASS LANDLORDS AND A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER WITH A GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION. WELCOME TO YOU BOTH. YOU HAVE A TENANT WHO HAS NOT PAID FULL RENT SINCE MARCH BUT HAS MADE PART — PARTIAL PAYMENTS. HAVE YOU BENEFITED FROM THE PROGRAM? DOUG: NO, WE HAVEN’T APPLIED AND I DON’T THINK WE WOULD BE ELIGIBLE. I AM TYPICAL OF A LOT OF MOM-AND-POP LANDLORDS. I KNOW MY RENTERS AND WILL DO WHATEVER I CAN TO KEEP GOING FROM COURT DOES KEEP FROM GOING TO COURT. — KEEP FROM GOING TO COURT. THE ISSUE THAT WE HAVE HERE IS WE HAVE A LOT OF FOLKS WHO HAVE COME TO STUDY HERE OR FOR OTHER LAWFUL REASONS, AND ARE NOT RECOGNIZED AS U.S. CITIZENS AND PERMANENT RESIDENTS SO ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR ANY OF THE PROGRAMS THAT WE HAVE COME UP WITH. KAREN: THERE IS ANOTHER PROGRAM, I THINK IT IS CALLED RAFT. DO LENDERS AND MORTGAGE COMPANIES RECEIVE — LANDLORDS AND MORTGAGE COMPANIES RECEIVE ASSISTANCE? DOUG: THE MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM WAS DESIGNED TO COMPLEMENT RAFT WHICH ASSISTS PEOPLE WHO MAKE BETWEEN 30% OF THE MEDIAN INCOME. IF YOUR RENTER HAPPENS TO BE IN ONE OF THOSE INCOME GROUPS PRIOR TO THE PANDEMIC, THEY CAN QUALIFY FOR THINGS LIKE RAFT AND ERMA AND SO ON. IT IS AN IMPORTANT PROGRAM, AND THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE RENTAL SUBSIDY, BUT IN GENERAL — CAN I ADD ONE MORE THING? THE METROPOLITAN PLANNING COUNCIL ESTIMATES $60 MILLION OF RENT PER MONTH IS GOING UNPAID AND ERMA WAS FUNDED ONE TIME. RAFT RUNS OUT OF MONEY EVERY FISCAL YEAR AND WE ARE LOOKING TO GET IT EXPANDED, BUT NO ONE HAS COME UP WITH THE LEVEL OF FUNDING TO STABILIZE MONTH AFTER MONTH WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON. KAREN: WE ARE GOING TO SHARE SOME GRAPHICS ABOUT THE MOST RECENT MORATORIUM THAT STOPS LANDLORDS FROM SENDING NOTICES TO QUIT, STOPS COURTS FROM HEARING EVICTION CASES OR ENTERING JUDGMENTS, STOPS SHERIFF’S FROM ENFORCING EXECUTIONS FOR POSSESSION, STOPS LATE FEES AND NEGATIVE REPORTING FOR COVID IMPACTED TENANTS. THERE IS A MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS OF ALL BUSINESSES. ANTONIO, YOU HAVE HEARD DOUG OFFER HIS PERSPECTIVE. WHAT DO YOU THINK IN TERMS OF PROTECTING TENANTS? ANTONIO: IT IS INTERESTING, BECAUSE I AM A LANDLORD AND A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER FIGHTING FOR HIS RIGHT. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME AND A LOT OF LANDLORDS AS I ACTUALLY LIVE IN BUILDINGS THAT I OWN. SO WE ARETRYING TO PROTECT TENANTS AND HOMEOWNERS AS WELL WITH THIS MORATORIUM. NOBODY EXPECTED THIS COVID-19 SITUATION TO TURN EVERYTHING UPSIDE DOWN, SO WE FEEL BUT — THE HOUSE PASSING THIS WILL HELP HOMEOWNERS AS WELL. KAREN: WHAT ARE YOU ON YOUR ORGANIZATION DOING TO ADVOCATE FOR TENANT, AND WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST THEY DO? THE PREVAILING WISDOM IS THAT TENANTS SHOULD TRY TO PAY SOMETHING. ANTONIO: IF YOU CAN PAY RENT, WE TELL PEOPLE TO PAY RENT. IF YOU CAN, CONTINUE TO PAY. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS BEHIND THIS COVID-19 SITUATION, SO WE DON’T THINK IT MAKES SENSE TO HAVE PEOPLE OUT ON THE STREET WHEN WE ARE TRYING TO FIGHT A PANDEMIC. WE ARE TRYING TO GET THIS HB 5166 BILL PASSED INTO LAW. WE RECOGNIZE THE EXTENSION OF THE FORECLOSURE AND EVICTION MORATORIUM UNTIL OCTOBER 17, BUT AFTER THAT THERE WILL BE A TSUNAMI OF EVICTIONS COMING DOWN THE PIPELINE. WE HAVE GOTTEN OVER 17,000 CALLS TO OUR HOP LINE WITHIN THE LOT — HOTLINE WITHIN THE LAST FEW MONTHS. KAREN: THE EXPRESSION IS YOU CANNOT GET BLOOD FROM A ROCK, SO IF PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS AND CANNOT PAY RENT, WHAT OTHER OPTIONS DO THEY HAVE? THAT IS A QUESTION FOR DOUG QUESTION — QUESTION FOR DOUG. DOUG: ABSOLUTELY. WE DIDN’T OPPOSE THE EVICTION MORATORIUM IN MARCH WHEN WE DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE VIRUS OR THE IMPACT. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE HAVE A HOME TO STAY IN DURING THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH THIS IN MASSACHUSETTS, LEARNED TO CONTAIN IT. THE PUBLIC HAS TO COME UP WITH THIS FUNDING TO KEEP EVERYBODY STABLY HOUSED. YOU CANNOT ASK LANDLORDS TO PAY FOR REPAIRS AND PLUMBING AND REAL ESTATE TAXES TO SUPPORT MUNICIPAL BUDGETS WITHOUT INCOME FROM THE PUBLIC OR RENT. THERE IS A LOT OF FOLKS WHO ARE LEGITIMATELY SERIOUSLY IMPACTED AND WILL BE FOR YEARS, AND THAT IS A PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY. KAREN: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECOMMEND OR IF YOU HAD EAR TO THE GOVERNOR, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE? DOUG: THE RENT CANCELLATION BILL 5166 CANNOT PASS BECAUSE IT DOES NOT PROVIDE PUBLIC FUNDING, IT IS ONLY A PLACEHOLDER. WE WOULD LIKE CONGRESS TO ISSUE A GUARANTEE. EVERYONE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE THE SAME HOUSING. WE WANT EVERYONE TO CONTINUE THERE FOR YEARS, HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES. THE STATE WILL HAVE TO RAISE TAXES TO FUND THAT, SO LET’S LOOK AT THE CAUSE OF THE HOUSING CRISIS IN THE FIRST PLACE, RESTRICTING HOUSING AND HOW THEY HAVE EXCLUDED PEOPLE OF COLOR FROM AREAS OF OPPORTUNITY, AND LET’S TAX SINGLE OWNED LOTS. KAREN: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SOLUTION? ANTONIO: THE SOLUTION TO KEEPING PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES? KAREN: YES. ANTONIO: PASSING HB 5166. IT WILL PROTECT PEOPLE WHO LOST GIVE PEOPLE A CHANCE TO GET BACK ON TRACK. THAT IS WHAT WE NEED TO DO. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED AND NOBODY EXPECTED IT, SO PEOPLE NEED HELP. IT WILL THE BAR — FOR PAYMENTS 15 TO 30 YEARS FOR MORTGAGES FOR HOMEOWNERS WHO HAVE FALLEN BEHIND. IT HELPS TENANTS AND MORTGAGE HOLDERS. KAREN: IT SEEMS THERE IS NO EASY SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM, ANOTHER PROBLEM THAT IS A RIPPLE EFFECT OF THE PANDEMIC. WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US. A BOSTON ORGANIZATION PROVIDING RESOUR

CityLine: Sunday, July 26, 2020: Halt on evictions & foreclosures

Gov. Baker put the brakes on evictions and foreclosure for thousands of Massachusetts residents who lost their income due to the pandemic. The looming deadline of August 18 has now been extended until October 17. This housing security measure is not indefinite, and many landlords feel this moratorium is not fair to them. Doug Quattrochi, executive director from Mass Landlords and Antonio Ennis, community organizer at City Life Vida Urbana, a grassroots community organization, discuss what the moratorium means for Massachusetts residents.

Gov. Baker put the brakes on evictions and foreclosure for thousands of Massachusetts residents who lost their income due to the pandemic. The looming deadline of August 18 has now been extended until October 17. This housing security measure is not indefinite, and many landlords feel this moratorium is not fair to them. Doug Quattrochi, executive director from Mass Landlords and Antonio Ennis, community organizer at City Life Vida Urbana, a grassroots community organization, discuss what the moratorium means for Massachusetts residents.



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