Boston Mayor Walsh advances housing right to counsel bill

01/17/2017, Legislation, Housing - Evictions

In January 2017, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced a 5-bill package to be submitted to the State Legislature to help with tenant displacement.  One of the bills, An Act to Promote Homelessness Prevention in Massachusetts, would require a court to appoint the public defender to represent indigent tenants in eviction proceedings.  The Mayor’s Announcement notes that "Currently, only seven percent of tenants brought to Boston Housing Court receive some type of legal assistance while a majority of landlords have representation.”  WBUR in Boston has more.


The housing right to counsel bil was filed as HB 968 and SB 831.  They were Introduced and referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on 1/23/17.