MASSACHUSETTS ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMISSION UPDATE – October 12, 2020

OCTOBER 26, 2020 COMMISSION MEETING

The next Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission meeting is scheduled for October 26th from 3-5 pm.  RSVP here.  We will forward a zoom link in advance of the meeting.

BREAKING NEWS ON EVICTION MORATORIUM: ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN ACTION!

We are pleased to share a press release issued by Governor Baker’s Office today announcing an initiative designed to preserve tenancies and support landlords once the Commonwealth’s moratorium on evictions expires on October 17, 2020.  Funding for this initiative includes support for legal services for income qualified tenants and landlords. This initiative also expands capacity of the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program, both increasing the support and streamlining the process, to provide relief to renters and landlords impacted by COVID-19.  Please see more details in the below press release.

As many of you are aware, for Chief Justice Gants, the eviction crisis created by COVID-19 was “the greatest access to justice challenge of our lifetime.”  During the several months prior to his passing, Chief Justice Gants brought together a wide array of stakeholders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to find creative solutions to the anticipated wave of eviction cases expected to result from the lifting of the eviction moratorium.  The resulting collaboration could not have happened without his efforts and the hard work of many throughout the Commonwealth, including the Executive Branch, the Courts, the Right to Counsel Coalition, and the Access to Justice Commission.  While we will discuss this in detail at our upcoming Commission meeting, including acknowledging key players who were critical to its success, we wanted to get this information to you as soon as possible.