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Boston Order Creates Immediate Moratorium On Evictions In City

Landlords and property owners will be barred from seeking to evict tenants in Boston under a new city-level moratorium Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced Tuesday afternoon.

Five days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Centers for Disease Control's eviction moratorium, Janey said the Boston Public Health Commission's interim executive director signed a public health order temporarily banning residential evictions in the city.

A copy of the order was not immediately available, but Janey's office said it took effect immediately and "prohibits landlords and property owners from pursuing tenant eviction proceedings in the City of Boston."

Janey also announced she instructed the Department of Neighborhood Development to create a $5 million fund to help homeowners avoid foreclosures and cover mortgage, insurance and condominium fee costs. Homeowners who are delinquent on payments will be eligible, and the program will be financed with American Rescue Plan Act and CARES Act funding.

Both the moratorium and the foreclosure prevention fund, which Janey said would be detailed more next week, are part of what the acting mayor called a "Housing Stability Agenda."

"The loss of federal eviction protections and the ongoing pandemic has put our most vulnerable neighbors at risk of losing their homes," Janey said. "I am implementing a housing stability agenda to continue Boston's public health recovery with emergency assistance for renters and homeowners who need help."

President Joe Biden has called on state and local leaders to "urgently act to prevent evictions" in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.

Beacon Hill leaders so far have not indicated any interest in reviving a state-level eviction moratorium and have encouraged renters and landlords to take advantage of hundreds of millions of dollars still available in rental aid.

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