Housing Bill passes Senate today! Now we must pass it in the House!
July 30, 2012
The Massachusetts State Senate passed a modified version of the bill providing housing protections for victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking. Originally S2203, the modified bill is now S2402.
The new version of the bill:
- Protects victims from financial penalties of early lease termination solely for reasons related to violence committed against them, but holds other occupants remaining to the terms of the lease.
- Prevents owners from refusing to rent to a victim if they have terminated a rental agreement under provisions of the bill.
- Authorizes lock changes, at tenant’s expense, to increase safety from violence.
- Has no impact on owner’s right to terminate a tenancy as it exists under current federal and state law.
Essentially, the eviction defense was taken out at this time to allow the remaining provisions of the bill to go through and make some progress for victims.
What you can do today:
We must now get the attention and support of the House to pass this bill in the next 36 hours.
Please call your House members (http://www.malegislature.gov/People/House), especially if they have been supportive of the bill. Let them know the bill is now in their side and to join with Rep Story, Chairman Honan and others to get the bill passed. The section of the bill that faced the most opposition from property owners is no long in the bill. If any legislators want more information about the new version, they can call me.
Thanks to all of you for your calls and emails to legislators already that have helped generate the momentum on this important bill!