|Today, as expected, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that it will be extending the current eviction moratorium by 60-days, using emergency powers granted by Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020, An Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Emergency. This Act suspends most residential and small business commercial evictions, as well as residential foreclosures. It does not relieve tenants or homeowners of their obligation to pay rent or make mortgage payments. The extension will expire at 11:59pm on October 17, 2020. |
As reported on Friday, Massachusetts currently has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. In addition, the additional $600 available in federal unemployment benefits is expected to expire at the end of the month. Today’s announcement comes in the wake of the filing of House Docket 5166/Senate Bill 2831, An Act to Guarantee Housing Stability During the COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery, which seeks to institute a blanket eviction moratorium for 12-months beyond the end of the March 10 state of emergency that is currently still in effect. NAIOP has joined a coalition of real estate groups in strongly opposing this legislation. If enacted, HD 5166/SB 2831 would paralyze the real estate industry in Massachusetts by instituting rent control practices and rent cancellation, exposing good faith property owners to 93A damages, and sealing the records of all renters, not just those impacted by COVID-19.
NAIOP is in constant communication with the Administration and Legislative Leaders on this issue and we continue to work with a subcommittee of attorneys and owners on eviction policies and legislation. If you or a member of your firm would like to share your experience with this moratorium, please reach out to CEO Tamara Small or Government Affairs Associate Anastasia Nicolaou.
The following blog post was submitted by Anne Baker, Account Executive at Solomon McCown.
It’s all about perception versus reality.
That was the takeaway message from NAIOP’s Affordable Housing: Challenges and Initiatives panel on May 23. The panel included Howard Cohen, Chief Executive Officer at Beacon Communities; Lawrence Curtis, President at WinnDevelopment; Tony Fracasso, Senior Vice President at MassDevelopment; Bart Mitchell, President & CEO at The Community Builders, Inc.; Jeanne Pinado, Chief Executive Officer at Madison Park Development Corporation; and was moderated by Solomon McCown CEO Helene Solomon.
The meeting was kicked off by Aaron Gornstein, the newly appointed undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Gornstein outlined his plans for DHCD, emphasizing that the agency is planning ahead for growth in the state. Streamlining the permitting process, giving support to promising communities, marketing the opportunities available to developers and building needed infrastructure are all essential elements of Gornstein’s affordable housing plans.
But while some may only see affordable housing as a social issue, Gornstein was clear that the high cost of living in Massachusetts has serious long-term ramifications for whether businesses decide to locate here and that the construction of affordable housing creates needed jobs.
False perceptions were also a constant theme throughout the panel discussion. The public is not aware that family homelessness is a relatively recent problem and that it’s easily solved through the construction of affordable housing, Pinado said. Mitchell and Fracasso both emphasized the creative financing options that are available to affordable housing developers who are looking for them.
Curtis argued passionately that while the construction of affordable housing is important, it alone can solve the housing gap in Massachusetts; we must work together for the preservation of existing low-income and affordable housing. Cohen also noted that while many upscale communities fight affordable housing developments out of a fear for negative impacts on their school systems, there is little evidence to suggest that is reality. It’s all about overcoming how local communities often approach affordable housing and making the case that inclusion will benefit us all.