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Dozens Of Massachusetts Apartment Owners Sign Non-Eviction Pledge Through End Of Year


Landlords across Massachusetts who own more than 57,654 homes have signed an Eviction Diversion Pledge to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic's effect on housing.

Gov. Charlie Baker's administration Thursday announced more than 50 housing owners would abide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium, holding off evictions through the end of the year. Also in the pledge are efforts to create payment plans, promote rent adjustments and accept rental assistance payments.

Beacon Communities CEO Dara Kovel, who earlier this year told Bisnow Boston’s affordable housing crisis was getting worse, said in a statement stable housing is crucial to the health of local communities.

“As the owner of over 18,000 affordable and mixed-income homes, with 9,000 in the Commonwealth, we helped to develop this pledge to demonstrate our commitment to keeping tenants stably housed during this time of uncertainty and to encourage other owners across the state of Massachusetts to join us," Kovel said in a statement.

The pledge comes after Massachusetts’ statewide eviction moratorium expired last month, and after Baker announced $171M in aid for tenants and landlords. That order gave $65M to the state’s Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program, which allows households to apply for up to $10K in assistance.

The eviction order and pledge do not apply to commercial properties, foreclosures on home mortgages or any other evictions not related to nonpayment of rent.

Some Bay State property owners already anticipated sluggish rent payments through 2021, as Greater Boston Real Estate Board CEO Gregory Vasil told Bisnow in April. GBRE was not listed as a signor to the pledge. WinnCompanies, which operates approximately 6,500 units across the state, signed the pledge but had already extended its own eviction moratorium through the end of the year.

The average gap between income and housing costs for Massachusetts renters filing unemployment claims was $940 per month, or $42.3M, in October, according to a recent Metropolitan Area Planning Council report. Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau also indicate renters in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton region face an approximately 27% chance of eviction, the sixth-largest percentage among the nation’s metropolitan regions.