Boston’s politicians fight to preserve one of America’s few remaining eviction prohibitions, despite a declining pandemic or a negative court decision. Michelle Wu is the newly elected mayor of Boston. She has promised to fight a decision by a state judge that found that Michelle Wu was abusing her emergency powers and placed a moratorium on city business.
Wu stated in a statement that “We need to provide more protections for Boston renters.” Our focus is on tenant protection during the COVID crisis and connecting residents with City- and State-funded rental assistance programs.
The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), in August, issued a broad ban to evict any Boston resident who has not paid rent. The order could only be applied to tenants found guilty of violating their lease terms and causing harm to the safety and health of others in the building.
Just a few days following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate a federal eviction ban issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the city issued a moratorium. Republican Governor Charlie Baker imposed a Massachusetts ban on evictions. Charlie Baker’s ban on Massachusetts evictions was lifted in October.
Boston’s ban on landlord-tenant matters quickly became controversial. It was opposed by landlord groups who claimed it was an infringement of state powers that regulate housing and landlord tenant matters. Even housing advocates, although supportive, were concerned that the policy would face legal challenges.
Both a landlord and constable were eventually sued.
BPHC argued that their lawsuit was justified because its eviction moratorium was needed to stop the spread COVID-19. It was also justified by state health laws, which gave the authority to create “reasonable public safety regulations” in order to fight communicable disease.
In a Monday decision, Housing Court Judge Irene Bagdoian firmly rejected this argument, saying that nothing in the statutes cited by BPHC would suggest that an eviction moratorium that overrides state landlord-tenant law was “reasonable.”
Bagdoian wrote that “This court sees great malice in permitting a municipality, or one its agencies, to exceed their powers.” Bagdoian notes that Boston’s logic to justify its moratorium could be used by another city to invoke COVID-19 to justify opting out from state laws that require cities to permit denser housing.
Almost every state and many localities imposed some kind of moratorium on evictions during the pandemic. Many of these laws have since been repealed or allowed to expire. Tenants in arrears have also been provided with billions in federal rental assistance.
Boston’s broad ban was among the best.
This is also the only local moratorium that has been successfully challenged before a court. Judges generally allow local and state governments broad latitude during pandemics to place any restrictions on evictions.
The moratoriums were justified because they would prevent “waves” of evictions in the event of an epidemic. However, this fear was never justified and a wave of evictions has not materialized almost anywhere that eviction bans had been allowed to expire.
However, the policies have caused a lot of hardship for a small number of landlords who were forced to offer free housing for unscrupulous and sometimes dangerous tenants.
These extraordinary limitations on property rights must be lifted.
Biden’s administration is apparently following up on its Monday travel restrictions with plans for all Americans entering the U.S.A to undergo COVID-19 testing and self-quarantine.. The Washington Post reports:
Biden will announce an enhanced winter vaccine strategy Thursday. U.S. officials expect to require all travelers entering the United States to undergo a test one day prior to boarding any flights. This applies regardless of whether they are from the USA or another country. Officials at the Administration are considering making it mandatory that travelers be retested within 3 to 5 days after arriving.
A controversial proposal is being discussed that would require travelers to quarantine themselves for 7 days even if they have negative results. Anyone who violates the rules could face fines or penalties. This is the first time that such penalties have been linked to travel quarantine and testing in the United States.
In response to this new variant, the Biden administration announced initial restrictions on travel that prohibited Americans and permanent residents not from travelling to the U.S.A from many African countries.
Jerome Powell of Federal Reserve believes it’s time to end referring to ongoing inflation as “transitory.” Asked by Sen. Pat Toomey (R–Penn.) At a Senate hearing, Senator Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) asked Powell how long it would take for the current 6. percent rate of inflation to persist and whether it was appropriate to keep calling it transitory. Powell replied that the term confused people because it meant something more like its dictionary definition.
The following reports are available: New York Post:
Powell stated that the Federal Reserve used the term to signify that higher inflation will not be a permanent result.
“I think it’s—it’s probably a good time to retire that word and try to explain more clearly what we mean,” Powell added.
The Wall Street JournalIn response, the editorial board stated that the current annual rate of 6.6% was already permanent because the inflation from the previous year has been built-in and the prices will not fall in order to eliminate it. Temporary or permanent, it is something we would prefer Mr. Powell to do.
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- Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioTech, said to Reuters that the COVID-19 vaccine that his company created with Pfizer would still provide strong protection against severe diseases. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel had said yesterday that there would be a “material drop” in the effectiveness of his company’s COVID-19 vaccine.
- According to reports, a D.C. assistant Principal was working as a part-time principal at Rhode Island’s school. DCist. Wow!
- Sloths have difficulty adapting to urban living. CityLab Reports on the Costa Rican nonprofit trying to assist them with adapting.
- According to The Washington Post, GOP legislators are planning a shutdown of the federal government in protest at President Joe Biden’s mandate that private employers receive vaccines. Politico.
- The investigation into live ammunition’s entry onto the movie set has a new lead RustAlec Baldwin shot one of the crew members fatally while shooting two others.