BOSTON (WWLP) – The annual state budget included several policy measures, and one of those measures deals with evictions.
The annual state budget was sent to the Governor’s desk on Monday, and in it was a measure to renew an anti-eviction policy that became popular during COVID-19. The fiscal year 2024 budget included several policy measures, like offering in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants and free community college for those over 25.
It also included Chapter 257 protections or anti-eviction policies. Lawmakers kept Chapter 257 in place for much of the COVID-19 emergency, but it expired this past March. If this part of the budget becomes law, it would help tenants stay in their homes. In a situation where a tenant failed to pay rent due to a financial hardship, and they have an application in for relief money, the courts would be required to keep the tenant in place.
Not everyone agrees with this move though. The Great Boston Real Estate Board said in a statement, “While well-intentioned, the Chapter 257 policy recently passed by the legislature leaves room for abuse. It allows renters to continually apply for financial aid – without ever actually trying to pay their owed rent – and avoid eviction indefinitely. We support a simple reform that would require applicants to apply for aid ‘in good faith,’ ensuring that help goes to those who need it.”
Between when the law originally took effect during the pandemic and November of 2022, courts granted over 9,000 pauses on evictions.
The Governor was sent the Budget this past Monday and has ten days to review the document.