The state's moratorium on evictions ends on Saturday, leaving housing activists without much hope that lawmakers will reverse Gov. Charlie Baker's decision to allow court proceedings to resume with new rent stabilization and mediation programs in place.
In a last-ditch attempt to draw attention to the issue before the deadline, Cambridge Rep. Mike Connolly filed an emergency petition in the House to extend the moratorium until January.
"I am disappointed that we in the legislature have in many ways, I think, ceded our responsibility for policymaking in this critical moment of pandemic and economic meltdown," Connolly said after his motion failed and he himself forced the House's informal session to end until next week.
While Connolly worked inside the State House, demonstrators like Alex Ponte-Capellan from City Life Vida Urbana were outside the golden dome calling on lawmakers to supersede Baker's plan to let evictions resume with new aid for rent stabilization.
"Black and brown people and working class people will die if nothing is done. And the governor's plan is just going to expedite evictions," Ponte-Capellan said.
A bill to address evictions is in the works according to House leaders, but lawmakers won't vote until at least November.
House Housing Committee co-chair Kevin Honan said this week he'd like Baker to extend the moratorium himself, as he's given the authority to do under the law passed this year.
Baker's own plan to deal with the expected rush of evictions once the ban is ended included $171 million for rent stabilization programs, mediation between landlords and renters, and added resources for courts to streamline the process.