COVID-19 and Housing

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed November, 2020

The Massachusetts Eviction Moratorium ended:  A national moratorium still protects some tenants

After October 18, the Massachusetts law that protects tenants from eviction during the pandemic no longer protects you.  Landlords can begin evictions again.

But the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ordered a national eviction moratorium.  This moratorium stops landlords from evicting some tenants who cannot keep up with rent.

If you qualify, your landlord is not allowed to evict you until after Dec. 31, 2020.

  1. Check to see if you qualify for the national CDC eviction moratorium.
  2. Apply for government rental assistance.
  3. Send the CDC “Declaration" to your landlord

See answers to your questions about the CDC eviction moratorium.

If you qualify, the CDC Declaration can keep you in your home. See How can I use the Declaration now?

Do I qualify for the national CDC eviction moratorium?

To qualify:

  • You must:
    • have received an Economic Impact Payment, "stimulus payment", this year, or
    • get $99,000 or less in income in 2020, or
    • get $198,000 or less in income in 2020 if you are married and file a joint return, or
    • have had a low enough income in 2019 so that you did not need to file a federal tax return.

And

  • You are not able to pay your full rent because:
    • you had a “substantial” loss of household income, or
    • you lost your job, were laid off, or your hours were cut back, or
    • you have “extraordinary” out-of-pocket medical expenses. These are medical expenses that add up to more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for the year, and no one is paying you back for them.

And

And

  • If you were evicted, you are likely to be homeless or have to move in with someone else.

 And

 

If I qualify, what do I need to do?

 Apply for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT).

You must apply for RAFT to use your "best efforts" to apply for government rental assistance and qualify for the national eviction moratorium.

See Where can I get help paying my rent?

Important

Keep copies of all your pre-applications and applications when you apply for rental assistance.

If you can swear that all the sentences in the Declaration are true, sign and send a Declaration to your landlord

 Use the MassAccess
CDC Eviction Moratorium Assistant to read through and create a Declaration you can sign, download, email or print and mail to your landlord.

 or

Get a Declaration form

Important

When you sign the Declaration, you are swearing that everything in the Declaration is true.

  • Keep a copy of the Declaration.
  • Send the original to your landlord by certified mail, or email.
  • Try to get proof you gave the Declaration to your landlord:
    * If you send the Declaration by certified mail, keep the receipt.
    * If you email the Declaration, keep the email you sent.
    * If you give your landlord your Declaration, make a note of the date you gave it to them. Write the note on your copy of the Declaration.
  • Keep anything your landlord sends back to you.

 Note

Even if you give your landlord your CDC Declaration, they may still file an eviction case against you. See I qualify for the CDC eviction moratorium and I gave my landlord the Declaration, but they are trying to evict me anyway.

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