Help For Those Facing Eviction and for Small Businesses!

In the waning days of 2020, I want to tell you residents of the 11th Suffolk District about some new resources and guidelines! Keep reading to learn more about the new restrictions imposed by Governor Baker to help stem the tide of infections, legal help if you are facing eviction, the small business relief program that will be available in the New Year.

Eviction Help

The CoVid crisis has made it harder (or impossible) for many of you to pay bills and put food on the table; you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your home, too. If you are worried about eviction because you are already behind on rent, or expect to fall behind soon, there are excellent resources that can help.


Apply to the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance programs (ERMA) through Metro Housing, or to the City of Boston’s Rental Relief Fund.


If you have already received a Notice to Quit or a Summons, you should get legal assistance!

Normally, only 8.5% of tenants are represented by lawyers in Housing Court. 81.4% of landlords are. Tenants deserve better! In order to provide greater housing stability for everyone during the COVID-19 Pandemic, CELHP, the Covid Eviction Legal Help Project, is a new program that offers referrals, legal information, assistance, and legal representation, and other legal help at all stages of an eviction process. To be eligible, the eviction has to be broadly related to the pandemic and your household income must be under 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For a family of four, for example, your household income would have to fall under $52,400. For a clearer sense if you qualify, take a look at: Federal Poverty Guidelines / Levels for 2020 & Their Relevance to Medicaid Eligibility (medicaidplanningassistance.org)

Remember, if you receive a notice to quit, you do not have to leave your home. Talking to CELHP as your first step can help you understand your options.

For more information, you can go directly to: https://evictionlegalhelp.org/ or contact our office at liz.malia@mahouse.gov.

New COVID-19 Related Restrictions

Unfortunately, we’ve all seen the continued spread of COVID-19 in our community. The Baker-Polito Administration released a set of new restrictions aimed at stemming the tide of the current wave of COVID-19 in our state. Starting on Saturday, December 26, and lasting for at least two weeks, most industries will be limited to 25% capacity including restaurants, close contact personal services, office spaces, places of worship, and gyms. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25 people. For a complete list of affected industries, you can take a look at the current Covid Guidelines.


Please be responsible and do your part!

Small Business Relief Package

The COVID-19 crisis has hit many of the small businesses in our community particularly hard. Fortunately, today the state announced a new program to provide $668 million to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many businesses in the district should qualify. Starting on December 31, The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation will begin accepting grant applications from:

  • Restaurants, bars, caterers

  • Indoor recreation and entertainment establishments

  • Gyms and fitness centers

  • Event-support professionals (photographers, videographers, etc.)

  • Personal services

  • Retail Stores

The program will offer grants that will potentially cover three months of operating expenses up to 75,000 for employee wages and benefits, space-related costs, and debt service obligations.


The application portal opens on December 31 and closes on January 15. More information and eligibility requirements can be found at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.

Finally, I hold virtual office hours on the second and third Friday of each month, if you need to meet with me during January you can sign up here.

Happy Holidays to those who celebrate!


Warmly,

Liz

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