Latest news (October 12):
Governor’s announcement of COVID relief in housing/news coverage:
Information on the state’s website: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-getting-help-with-housing-costs
The ability of people in Massachusetts to cover the costs of pet care and related expenses has been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the pandemic has exacerbated affordable housing shortages that already existed for renters across the country, low-income households in particular have often had to choose between paying rent and buying groceries, medicine and other necessities—including pet-related expenses. Read more about our efforts to help.
Legislation, such as H. 5018 and S. 2831, An Act to Guarantee Housing Stability During the COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery, is being considered that would increase rental assistance, extend the state’s eviction moratorium, and to offer relief for landlords facing losses. In addition, some municipalities are also considering local action to provide relief. We will also be requesting a freeze to any evictions based on a family keeping a pet.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)’s latest statistics, 49 percent of Massachusetts households keep pets. With housing groups forecasting anywhere from 20,000 and 80,000 evictions, thousands of pets may become homeless, along with their families, should the moratorium expire. Meanwhile only 9% of rental housing across the country allowed companion animals without any significant limitations on size or type. Most tenants (82%) with animals reported having trouble finding a rental unit that would accept their pets.
One of the most frequently cited reason for relinquishment of animals to a shelter is a housing, moving, or a landlord issue. When families are separated, both humans and pets experience detrimental effects on their physical and emotional well being.
Landlords can minimize such risk by removing barriers such as breed and size restrictions in the case of renters with pets and by reducing fees in order to give renters with pets more opportunities to find safe housing. Now, more than ever, renters would benefit from increased support and fewer limitations.
What you can do: