A bill that would halt evictions and freeze rents for a year after Gov. Charlie Baker lifts the coronavirus state of emergency has cleared its first major hurdle but faces staunch opposition from landlords who say it would lead to foreclosures, slums and worse.
“The further people get behind in their rent, the less likely they will ever be able to pay it. If we don’t deal with this problem and we wait another year, there’s a lot of money that will never get paid,” said Greg Vasil, CEO and president of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. “It’s the property owners who lose. We’ll see foreclosures and properties will start to fall into disrepair.”
The eviction protection bill cleared the Joint Committee on Housing in a 14-3 party-line vote on Thursday. Proponents say the bill aims to keep tenants in their home after losing jobs due to the pandemic.