From Grace Ross๐Ÿ’ and the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ…

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ HOMEOWNERS, TENANTS AND ADVOCATES DEMAND REINSTATEMENT OF MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS!

โ€œAt this unprecedented time, a global pandemic, unemployment and under-employment sky-high … children are having to remotely learn at HOME … it was unconscionable not to extend the eviction moratorium on October 17, (2020).

” … looming evictions are in the tens of thousands, and an upsurge in Covid 19 cases besets our communities, our families. Our people are in crisis and now we have a curfew.

“Where are these newly evicted and homeless beings supposed to abide by the curfew. In a hallway, in the backseat of a car, in a shelter?โ€

โ€“ Liz Bewsee, Co-Chair of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending and Housing & Economic Justice Organizer, Springfield

In March 2020, after weeks of working with legislators and lobbying, the members of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending and others accomplished passage and signing of a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions on April 20, 2020.

The moratorium is credited with saving hundreds of lives.

“Housing is a human right. It is a public health and racial issue. It is a social determinant of health, and its availability improves health. Housing is a critical indicator of whether we are a just society or not. We need to address the entrenched structural racism in the entire housing ecosystem now.”

โ€“ Dr. Esther Ngotho, Beverly, MA, an immigrant who has already had to record evidence in her local Registry of Deeds of the racially predatory loan on her home.

Although the stated purpose in the law (Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020) was explicitly an emergency protection of the people of Massachusetts during the Covid-19 pandemic pending the conclusion of the Governorโ€™s Pandemic Emergency Order, the legislature and the Governor stalemated on an agreement and allowed the moratorium to end on October 17th.

โ€œTo even consider displacing these people who are most vulnerable through no fault of their own currently is unconscionable. One being displaced from their shelter can only lead to more sickness and death. Massachusetts has always been a leader fighting for human rights. The world is looking at us. Please, we need to continue the moral high ground.โ€

– Alton King, Longmeadow homeowner fighting eviction now.

As all statistics show and all of the elected leaders of Massachusetts are aware, by October 17th the second wave of increasing Covid cases had started.

โ€œAt this moment, when cases are rising daily temperatures are dropping, and Governor Baker has ordered people to stay at home between the hours of 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM to try to reel in the spread of the Covid-19 virus. It is imperative that he protect the very HOMES that he is telling people to retreat to. The eviction moratorium must be extended at least through the end of 2020. Time is running out for people who are now being dragged into court to be evicted.โ€

โ€“ Mayra Duran, organizer at Greater Four Cornersโ€™ Action Council, in Dorchester, a MAAPL Boardmember and forelcosure fighter herself.

โ€œThe fact remains that many families are close to exhausting their unemployment benefits and have no reserves. The lack of political will to consider the real needs of the American worker, elderly and disabled, especially those in our commonwealth, compels a moral responsibility to reinstitute the eviction and foreclosure moratorium. What we have failed to do in law, maybe we will do from our heart.โ€

โ€” Representative Tony Branch, Southeastern Regional School Committee and MAAPL Boardmember

Now, as part of his ongoing Covid-19 pandemic health crisis emergency orders, Governor Baker declared a curfew starting at the end of the week at 10 PM every night.

As a public health professional, I support the upcoming curfew to protect the public from the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts. The question remains, however, as to how to integrate the reality that without a strong eviction and foreclosure moratorium, many families are at severe risk of having no home. Are these folks, in effect, at risk of being penalized for two reasons: 1 โ€“ not conforming to the curfew and 2 โ€“ not having anywhere safe to live? The Commonwealth must institute an eviction and foreclosure moratorium NOW. Dawn Duncan, MSW, MSc โ€“ Board Member MAAPL and homeowner in Lynn

โ€œIt’s absurd to impose a curfew on the general populace and not simultaneously extend the eviction moratorium. If people are supposed to stay in their homes but their homes have been taken from them, where are they supposed to go? Perhaps Governor Baker should call it his emergency COVID-19 “Car Curfew”?! Rorie Woods, Hadley

โ€“ wrongly evicted homeowner and farmer still fighting to regain her home and her livelihood.

The Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending and the homeowners it works with and member organizations across the state are calling for a renewed moratorium and emergency passage and signature by the Governor.

โ€œTo do nothing is bad. To do harm is worse. This is harming our community. Please for the love of god reinstate the eviction moratorium now.โ€ โ€“ Liz Bewsee

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