BOSTON (WWLP) - Governor Deval Patrick has signed a bill that gives housing rights to victims of stalking or sexual and domestic violence.
The new law prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who are victims of one of these crimes. It gives victims the option of ending their lease or rental apartment without paying penalty fees. It also allows victims to have their locks changed.
"Gov. Deval Patrick: I am grateful to all of those and those they represent for helping to bring this bill forward," Gov. Patrick said.
"We're going to make a step in the right direction to acknowledge that there are victims of domestic violence and we need to do what we can to protect them as much as we can," Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem said.
Domestic violence is a personal issue for Governor Patrick. His wife, Diane, suffered domestic abuse in a previous marriage.
Patrick said this bill will prevent victims from facing discrimination from landlords, and keep them from feeling forced to stay in an unsafe home.