House Speaker Robert DeLeo's top housing chairman wants to double funding for rent stabilization and is asking the governor to extend the state's moratorium on evictions for another 90 days while lawmakers work on a bill to solve the state's pandemic eviction crisis.
Housing Committee House co-chair Kevin Honan says the plan Gov. Charlie Baker rolled out Monday to replace the moratorium with rental stabilization programs and mediation doesn't go far enough.
"As I continue to have conversations with housing service providers, advocates, my colleagues in the legislature, who I talk with frequently because they also have a keen appreciation for how urgent this is, and tenants and landlords state wide, it is evident that more is required," Honan told GBH News.
Honan said he spoke with Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz Tuesday about increasing funding for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program from Baker's planned $100 million to $200 million.
"This is a pretty comprehensive problem we're having here with the potential of mass evictions in the middle of winter. So we need increased funding for RAFT and passing the housing stability legislation," Honan said.
Honan said he would like Baker to utilize a provision in the moratorium law the Legislature passed earlier this year to extend the ban on evictions another 90 days so lawmakers have more time. Honan admitted that the Legislature will need more time to pass housing legislation and won't be able to take up a vote before the moratorium expires, leaving Baker with the sole authority to extend it.
A group of tenants' associations rallied on Boston Common Sunday to urge Baker to extend the moratorium deadline past Saturday Oct. 17.