November 2020 Newsletter – Keep up in a complex landscape: key Jan. 1 milestones for families

November 2020

on our mind (3)-2

Status of Eviction Moratorium Protections

Federal Eviction Moratorium Protection for eligible renters currently expires 12/31/2020:

  • At-risk renters who meet the requirements spelled out in the CDC notice can sign and share this declaration with their landlord.
  • The declaration has been translated into multiple languages. More information here.
  • The protection applies to new and already-filed evictions so long as the tenant completes the declaration.
  • If landlords fail to comply with the moratorium, there are criminal penalties enforceable by the Department of Justice.
  • Tenants are encouraged to make partial payments to their landlords.
  • Tenants can still be evicted for reasons other than nonpayment of rent.

Note re: Massachusetts tenants at risk of eviction:

  • The state eviction moratorium expired on Oct. 17, 2020.
  • Rental Relief: The Commonwealth launched a COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Initiative with supports for both tenants and landlords. Check out Frequently Asked Questions here

Note re: Rhode Island tenants at risk of eviction:

  • Limited eviction defense is available through RI Legal Services and the RI Center for Justice.
  • Safe Harbor Housing Program offers tenants a solution outside of the court system by supporting them to create a payment plan with their landlord. To apply, tenants or landlords can visit United Way RI’s website.
  • HomeSafe rental assistance fund is open and a common application can be found here; this is a one-time grant of financial assistance for families experiencing housing instability.
  • WeR1 program supports those unable to access benefits due to immigration status.

Status of Foreclosure Moratorium Protections

Federal Foreclosure Moratorium for eligible single-family homeowners currently expires 12/31/2020:

  • FHA-insured single-family homes: More information on the FHA loan moratorium can be found here
  • Single-family, VA-guaranteed loans: The moratorium protects against the initiation and completion of foreclosures. More information about the VA loan moratorium can be found here
  • USDA-insured (rural), single-family homes: The moratorium protects against the initiation and completion of foreclosures. More information for homeowners with USDA loans can be found here.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are extending forbearance on mortgages through January 31, 2021. Homeowners can check if their mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac online.
  • Ineligible homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to contact their lender to request a forbearance, a payment plan, or other available resources.

MLPB will continue to monitor eviction- and foreclosure-related developments and provide updates to communities of care. For additional up-to-date information, check out the On Our Mind content at the end of this newsletter and MLPB’s Digital Digest!

New Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Benefits in MA

Massachusetts soon will join other states in providing eligible workers with a new kind of paid benefit – one especially supportive of new parents and caregivers.

This benefit was created by state law and is broader than federal FMLA (Family & Medical Leave Act) protections. Eligible workers in the Commonwealth may be entitled to the following: 

As of Jan. 1, 2021: 

  • Up to 20 weeks of paid leave for an employee’s own serious health condition;
  • Up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child; and
  • Up to 26 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member in the armed services who has a serious health condition.

As of July 1, 2021:

  • Up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

Want more information to support effective planning and problem-solving with individuals and families working in MA? 

Check out this helpful PFML fact sheet and workplace poster, generated by the Department of Family and Medical Leave

For additional up-to-date information, check out MLPB’s Digital Digest!

On our mind

Anti-Racism & Health

Care Delivery & Financing Transformation

Digital Equity & Utility Needs

Early Childhood

Economic Inclusion & Employment