November 30, 2021
Rep. Pressley’s Statement on Boston Eviction Moratorium
“The City of Boston’s eviction moratorium has served as a critical lifeline for Boston families at risk of eviction, and yesterday’s housing court decision to overturn it is a devastating blow to these vulnerable residents who once again find themselves at risk of losing their homes. “As we enter the winter months, I stand ready to support Mayor Wu, the City of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission as they explore every option available to protect renters, including by appealing this harmful decision and ensuring that emergency rental assistance funds continue to be rapidly disbursed to those who need it. I continue to fight at the federal level for emergency relief for tenants nationwide and for robust investments in rental assistance, and I reiterate my calls for the Massachusetts Legislature to enact the COVID-19 Housing Equity bill to establish crucial renter protections and expedite resource distribution. “Evictions are traumatic and preventable life events that continue to disproportionately impact Black, brown and other vulnerable communities, and we must move with urgency before more families are unhoused as COVID-19 continues to spread. I look forward to partnering with my colleagues across all levels of government to prevent this impending eviction crisis and the destabilization that would accompany it, and will continue working to affirm housing as the fundamental human right that it is.” On March 18, 2020, Reps. Pressley, Katie Porter (D-CA) and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wrote to HUD calling for a moratorium on evicting renters during the coronavirus pandemic. On March 19, 2020, Rep. Pressley, along with progressive lawmakers and organizations, introduced the Housing is a Human Right Act to authorize more than $200 billion in federal spending over 10 years for crucial housing infrastructure and reduce homelessness. On March 23, 2020, Reps. Pressley and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) introduced the Public Health Emergency Shelter Act of 2020, legislation to provide critical funding to states and local governments responding to the needs of families and individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis. This legislation was included and passed through the HEROES Act and H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 . On April 10, 2020, Rep. Pressley urged Congressional leadership to prioritize recurring monthly cash payments to those most at-risk during the COVID-19 crisis. This funding would allow people to cover all their bills, including rent. On April 17, 2020, Reps. Pressley, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and colleagues introduce the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, a bill to institute a nationwide cancellation of rents and home mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. On May 11, 2020, Reps. Tlaib, and Joe Neguse (D-CO) urge House and Senate leadership to include $11.5 billion in funding for Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) in the next relief package to aid the nation’s homeless population who are experiencing heightened vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 24, 2020, in a Financial Services Committee hearing, Rep. Pressley discussed the unprecedented financial cliff facing millions of renters and homeowners, the economic consequences of millions losing their homes, including the ability to return to work, and why funding for legal representation is so critical. On July 28, 2020, Rep. Pressley, Rep. DeLauro and Sen. Harris introduced the Housing Emergencies Lifeline Program (HELP) Act to provide much-needed, layered assistance, including restricting credit reporting of evictions and funding legal counsel for those facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 18, 2021, Reps. Bush and Pressley sent a letter to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calling on the CDC to strengthen and extend the federal moratorium on evictions, ensuring families can remain safely in their homes for the duration of the COVID-19 global health emergency.