BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced several steps to help residents with housing during the coronavirus crisis. The city will halt all evictions and provide rental vouchers to some families of Boston Public School students.
"We're going to provide rental vouchers to 1,000 families with BPS students over the next year," Walsh said. "Five hundred of those vouchers will go to families living in shelters. The other 500 will go to families who are at risk of displacement."
The vouchers will allow families to seek housing in the private market with significant rent subsidies.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced a statewide ban on non-essential evictions until April 21. "We have worked with housing advocates, property owners, and the Boston Housing Authority to halt all eviction proceedings until the crisis is over," Walsh said Monday.
Property tax payments will be delayed until June, and interest charges on late motor vehicle excise bills will be suspended, Walsh said. The city is also working with banks to develop a plan to allow homeowners to suspend or defer payments without penalties.
The mayor also urged residents to continue social distancing. He said zip ties have been used on basketball hoops and hockey nets have been removed from rinks to discourage people from playing sports during the crisis.
"We want to make sure that life goes back to normal as soon as possible, so we are missing out on our favorite springtime traditions such as opening day at Fenway, the Boston Marathon, and other events that we usually have this time of year," Walsh said. "But we should also remember Boston has always been a city of champions and comebacks, we've overcome tough situations before and shown what it means to be Boston Strong."
As of Monday, there have been two deaths and 825 positive coronavirus tests in Boston.
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