Window for action on tenant protections in Massachusetts narrows as eviction ban lifts

The processing of nearly 19,000 Massachusetts eviction cases on pause amid the pandemic starts Monday and with lawmakers on summer break, one local senator says renters’ best hope is local advocacy groups.

“Don’t wait for the government to come rescue you,” Sen. Pat Jehlen, D-Somerville, told the Herald. “The thing that people should do — moratorium or not — is reach out to the housing agencies that help people. And call your legislators — people need to tell their stories.”

A federal ban protecting renters who stopped paying during the pandemic expired on July 31.

President Biden on Friday called on “all state and local governments” to speed up payouts of billions in federal aid dollars earmarked for housing relief.

“State and local governments should also be aware that there is no legal barrier to moratorium at the state and local level. My Administration will not rest — nor should state and local governments — until Emergency Rental Assistance dollars reach Americans in need,” Biden said in a statement.

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