Pandemic Policy Extensions Bill Signed by Governor Baker
June 16, 2021
On June 16, 2021, Governor Baker signed a law extending certain pandemic-era policies. Many of the policies established during the pandemic were tied to the end of the state of emergency, which expired on June 15, 2021. The new law extends certain pandemic policies including eviction protections for tenants and allowing public meetings to be held virtually.
For eviction protections, the law:
Requires courts to delay eviction cases if there is a pending application for emergency rental assistance applications. This protection is in place through April 1, 2022;
Removes the connection of these state eviction protections from the end of the Federal CDC moratorium;
Continues to require property owners to provide information on rental assistance and any relevant information on evictions with the Notice to Quit
Also requires property owners to include documentation of any agreements between the tenant and landlord for the tenant to repay the landlord for non-payment of rent;
Continues to require property owners to send copies of notices to quit to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development;
Continues to require courts to report data on eviction cases to Legislature until April 1, 2022; and
Continues to require the Department of Housing and Community Development to report data on the Eviction Diversion Initiative to the Legislature until January 1, 2023.
For policies related to virtual public meetings, the law allows public bodies to continue providing live, “adequate, alternative means” of public access to public meetings. The law also authorizes all members of a public body to continue participating in meetings remotely.
CHAPA thanks Governor Baker for signing the bill into law. CHAPA also thanks the Legislature for leading the effort on the policy extensions, specifically CHAPA thanks Senate President Spilka, House Speaker Mariano, Ways and Means Committee Chairs Sen. Rodrigues and Rep. Michlewitz, and members of House and Senate for extending eviction prevention provisions from the pandemic era.