Act now to stabilize rental housing

March 27, 2020:-  Here’s my video asking people to sign the petition that asks Massachusetts lawmakers to stabilize housing by guaranteeing the rent.

As I mention in the video, this is day 17 of the state of emergency and only four days have passed since the Governor issued the executive order closing all “non-essential” businesses. As a result, unemployment in Massachusetts has gone up 1,900%.

For my description of the proposal and its rationale, please see my previous post.

By the way, in the video I wonder whether we will look back on state government’s response as proper or as Operation Barn Burner. I’m using the term “barn burner” in its 19th-century sense, i.e. someone who will rid the barn of rats by burning it down, akin to journalist Peter Arnett’s phrase that he attributed to an officer in the US Army, “destroy the village to save it” (which phrase no officer may have actually uttered).

Click here to sign the petition.

Chamber legislative breakfast_with Lindsey and Silvia (3)
Peter Vickery, Esq.

2 thoughts on “Act now to stabilize rental housing

  1. Dear Peter:
    Surety bonds issued by the Commonwealth is a well-intentioned idea. However, have you considered the administrative system of proof that would be required to be submitted by landlords and tenants in order to qualify? The Commonwealth’s position- as it rightly should be- would entail a large degree of skepticism as to the validity of any claim, and hence, proof of loss of income in the form of employer statements and proof of pre-exisiting employment, as well as proofs of actually being a landlord and actually having said individual as a tenant would no doubt be required. If medical in nature, physician statements would be needed. Thanks to Trump, we live in a world of distrust and dishonesty. Further, the time involved in hiring people to adjudicate claims and disburse money would take months. And what insurance company (other than Mass itself) would accept the risk?
    As a landlord landlord myself, I am sorry to throw some water on your proposal, but personally, I think just working with tnants myself is the best way to get through this.
    Of course, evictions are now toothless, as the courts have closed.
    I would welcome any feedback.

    Bill Saltman (413) 323-8658

    1. Hello Bill:

      Thank you for commenting. Yes, certainly there would be time and costs involved in processing claims, and the only insurer in a position to cover the losses is the Commonwealth itself, i.e. the taxpaying public as a whole.

      Yes, I agree that the claims processors should treat claims as they would any other claim (that is, without any naive presumption in favor of the claimant) but not because of President Trump. I am of the firm opinion that dishonesty and distrust predate his inauguration by several hundred thousand years!

      — Peter

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