Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city has secured agreements with a dozen banks to allow homeowners to defer mortgage payments for at least the next three months.
Walsh said Thursday that the banks have agreed not to charge late fees, not report the missed payments to credit reporting agencies and not require the missed payments be paid back in a lump sum.
He said homeowners will have to contact their bank directly, or the Boston Home Center. The participating banks include: Bank of America, Boston Private, Cambridge Trust, Century Bank, Citizens, City of Boston Credit Union, Dedham Savings, Eastern Bank, Mortgage Network, Inc., PrimeLending, Salem Five and Santander.
Already, the city has halted eviction proceedings, extended property tax due dates and created a $3 million rental relief fund for residents.
Boston now has 2,812 reported coronavirus cases — up 310 from the day before, the largest day-over-day increase. Thirty-four people have died. Walsh said the last five days have seen a significant increase in cases.
New racial inequities task force
A day after the state began releasing what limited racial and ethnic data it has on coronavirus cases, Walsh said the city would form a task force focused on identifying health inequities tied to the coronavirus.
The task force will collect data on how the virus is affecting minority communities and come up with best practices on how to respond.
The city only has data on 62% of cases, Walsh said. The state data is worse, with with racial or ethnic information attached to only a third of cases.
Boston has been releasing data on reported coronavirus cases by zip code. The city's mapping shows neighborhoods that are more predominantly black and Hispanic — Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park and East Boston — are seeing a higher rate of coronavirus cases than the rest of the city.
More housing for front line workers
Northeastern University is offering 135 single occupancy rooms to first responders and shelter staff who need to be isolated or worry about exposing someone at their home. Boston University is making available 75 rooms to Pine Street Inn workers. The Hotel Boston in Brighton will provide 75 rooms for first responders who test positive for coronavirus and need to quarantine.
Additionally, Emmanuel College, Mass. College of Art and Design, and Simmons University are making housing available to health care workers. A former nursing home facility in Brighton will be turned into 50 beds for veterans.
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