Local state representatives were championed for guiding a new state law that puts a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Governor Charlie Baker signed into law on Monday, prohibits all non-essential evictions and foreclosures, and additional tenant protections. Residential landlords cannot terminate tenancy or send notice to evict due to non-payment or for no-fault evictions. Landlords are also not allowed to charge a late fee for non-payment of rent or give data to a credit reporting agency if the tenant provides documents showing why COVID-19 prevented them from paying rent. Creditors must also grant a forbearance on mortgage payments for up to 180 days if requested.
Early voting for Massachusetts residents occurred last week and the presidential primary is March 3. Many elected officials have let it be known who they support. Let's review who they're supporting. At-Large City Councilor Michelle Wu was a student of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren -- so you know the Wu Train is in full support of Warren. Wu is continually canvassing for Warren, went to the Iowa Caucus, and more.
Governor Charlie Baker was joined by a host of local and state officials on Heath Street to announce that two Jamaica Plain projects are among 16 state projects receiving more than $2.6 million in Brownfields Redevelopment Funds. Baker made the announcement on Jan. 23 at the Hattie Kelton Apartments at 61 Heath St., in JP, which is Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation's (JPNDC) newest building. Brownfields Redevelopment Funds help transform vacant, abandoned, or underused industrial or commercial properties by providing money to pay for the environmental assessment and remediation of the sites in “economically distressed areas” in Massachusetts. The JPNDC is receiving $250,000 for its housing developments at 25 Amory Street and 250 Centre Street.
With many thanks to a lot of support from many community partners, the Boston Police
Department hosted the annual, “National Night Out”, in Jamaica Plain on August 5. Hundreds of friends, supporters and elected officials gathered on Metcalf Court in the South Street Apartments for an evening of food, music, awards, entertainers, games, demonstrations, education, camaraderie and more. Four local neighbors were awarded for their selfless contributions to their community. Wendy Polanco of the Mildred Hailey Tenants’ Task Force was awarded by Mayor Walsh as the Boston Crime Fighter of the Year for her constant efforts to improve the lives of her neighbors. Francisco Fernandez was awarded by District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley, for his Community Service to the South Street neighborhood through his hard work at the Happy Market.
ByState Rep. Liz Malia and State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz |
The 70th anniversary of the law that enabled the state to treat chronically ill individuals at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital seems like an apt time to consider how our understanding of public health has changed, and how pressing the need for access to health care remains. Chapter 770 of the Acts of 1949 formalized the City of Boston and the Commonwealth’s agreement to transfer “up to 15 acres of…Franklin Park...Any land conveyed under this act shall, from and after such conveyance be held for the state department of public health, which is hereby authorized and directed to construct on such land a six-hundred bed hospital for the care of persons suffering from chronic disease, including a nurse’s home, outpatient department and other facilities.”
Policymakers then understood a general link between poverty and chronic disease incidence, which is why they agreed to build a public teaching hospital and outpatient facilities offering affordable diagnosis and rehabilitation services in the Commonwealth’s biggest city. Since then, diabetes and addiction have overtaken tuberculosis as public health threats, but the poverty-health link is clearer than ever now. We see our poorest neighbors often struggling with multiple chronic conditions (infectious and otherwise) that are impossible to treat when their housing is unstable or nonexistent. The infectious diseases that incubate among economically fragile, homeless and very sick populations rarely stay there, as San Diego and other cities have learned to their chagrin. I and others worked with state agencies in 2018 to meet your request for more transparent planning. I’ve spent the last year following the work of the Shattuck Hospital’s Community Advisory Board and neighbors to define a new service model that will ready the campus for another century of public health shifts. Those conversations between the state’s Executive Office of Health & Human Services, the Department of Public Health, and Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, and the City of Boston’s Departments of Neighborhood Development and Health and Human Services and your neighbors are informed by links between poverty, housing and health. At almost every neighborhood meeting I attend with you, and in others across districts, the most common questions raised are: how anyone can afford to continue living here?