Activists and tenants will rally in Boston and other Massachusetts city, Sunday, calling on protections for renters amid the coronavirus crisis.
Nearly 25 tenants’ associations will rally in front of buildings at 1 p.m. in Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Mattapan, East Boston and Dorchester as well as in Malden and other areas. organizers said. A caravan of supporters is expected to drive past those locations.
The rallies come as the moratorium on evictions in Massachusetts, put in place during the coronavirus pandemic, are set to expire this summer.
The demonstrations will call for the state to “cancel evictions” that occur due to housing debt incurred during the pandemic and collective bargaining with landlords.
“Once Massachusetts' eviction moratorium expires, which is likely to happen in mid-August, landlords are expected to file evictions on tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents, unless legislators strengthen protections from eviction,” organizers said.
The event also comes on the heels of a new report that found that communities of color in Boston are disproportionately affected by evictions in the city, with some of the highest rates in Black communities.
The problem has only been exasperated by the coronavirus, which saw a spike in eviction filings before the state issued a moratorium in April. The high price of rental housing and lack of affordable housing also contributed to evictions.
The report was produced by MIT researchers and a housing justice organization. It proposed several measures to reduce evictions including limits on annual rent increases and expand legal representation for low-income tenants.