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March 31, 2023

Pressley Urges Extension of Chapter 257 Eviction Protections for Massachusetts Tenants

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), a member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement calling for an extension of Chapter 257 eviction protections for Massachusetts tenants, which are set to expire on March 31, 2023.

“The Commonwealth’s housing protections under Chapter 257 have served as a critical lifeline for Massachusetts residents at risk of eviction, and allowing this law to lapse would be devastating for families. There is no reason why tenants with pending applications for rental assistance should be unhoused, especially if they have a check on the way.

“I join housing advocates and local leaders in calling on the Legislature to urgently pass an extension of Chapter 257, which would help keep a roof over the head of thousands of vulnerable families.

“Evictions are traumatic and preventable life events that continue to disproportionately impact Black, brown, immigrant, disabled and other vulnerable communities. With COVID-19 health emergency declarations sunsetting and evictions in the Commonwealth rising to pre-pandemic levels, failure to extend Chapter 257 would only exacerbate our growing housing crisis. We must move with urgency and use every tool available to keep families safely housed and affirm housing as the human right that it is.”

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Pressley has consistently advocated for robust housing protections and policies that affirm housing as a human right.

In February 2022, Rep. Pressley, along with Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), in reintroducing the Housing Emergencies Lifeline Program (HELP) Act, critical legislation to provide much-needed assistance to those facing eviction amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

In September 2021, Rep. Pressley joined Rep. Bush and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in introducing the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 to enact an urgently needed nationwide eviction moratorium. 

Over the summer, with the previous eviction moratorium set to expire, Rep. Pressley stood in solidarity with Congresswoman Cori Bush on the steps of the US Capitol to urge the Administration to act unilaterally to extend this protection—efforts that resulted in a new CDC eviction moratorium

On July 2021, ahead of the expiration of the previous CDC eviction moratorium, Reps. Pressley, Bush, Gomez and their progressive colleagues sent a letter renewing their calls for President Biden and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to extend the federal eviction moratorium and prevent the historic and deadly wave of evictions that would occur if the government failed to do so. 

On July 30, Rep. Pressley joined House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) in introducing the Protecting Renters from Evictions Act of 2021, legislation to extend the eviction moratorium through the end of the year. 

In June, Rep. Pressley, along with Reps. Gomez and Bush, led over 40 of their colleagues on a letter urging President Biden and CDC Director Walensky to extend and strengthen the moratorium for the duration of the public health crisis. 

  • 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 to 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.
  • In June 2021, Congresswoman Pressley, along with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), re-introduced 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.