BOSTON (WWLP) – With the housing crisis in the state and effects still being felt by the pandemic, housing advocates rallied at the State House Thursday in support of foreclosure protection and rent control.
According for the Homes for All coalition, Massachusetts is the fifth most expensive state in the country to rent a home and the city of Boston is the second most expensive rental market in the nation.
The two bills the group were lobbying for are An Act Establishing Foreclosure Prevention Program and An Act Enabling Cities and Towns to Stabilize Rents and Protect Tenants.
The first bill on Thursday’s agenda deals with foreclosure protection. It would require service providers to provide accurate loan information and be a part of foreclosure prevention conferences. Every other state in New England has some sort of foreclosure conference or mediation.
“Western Mass and Central Mass have not recovered from the last foreclosure crisis, the foreclosures never stopped and we need to stop the bleeding of the generational wealth gap we have going on in the Commonwealth,” said Rose Webster-Smith, Executive Director of Springfield’s No One Leaves.
The second bill would allow cities and towns to enact locally-needed rent stabilization. Tenants on Thursday said they’re being squeezed out of their living situation by rising rents.
Governor Maura Healey has said that housing is a priority of hers and recently swore in a new Housing Secretary, the first one in more than thirty years. These bills are currently in the joint committee on Housing and the joint committee on financial services and have not yet been scheduled for a hearing.