Malden residents facing eviction will now have extra help staying in their homes through a new Eviction Prevention Program announced by the City of Malden and the Malden Redevelopment Authority (MRA). The program will provide court-based legal aid, mediation, and rental assistance to Malden renters facing eviction.
“No one should face an eviction alone, especially during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” said Mayor Gary Christenson. “This program ensures that every Malden resident facing eviction will have an advocate or mediator available to help them in court. The Eviction Prevention Program is an investment in our community and demonstrates our commitment to helping one another in times of great need and vulnerability.”
In addition to legal aid and mediation, rental assistance funds will be available through the program to eligible Malden households. Households are eligible if they are being evicted by their landlord for non-payment of rent, they meet income requirements, and their inability to pay is related to the coronavirus or the resulting economic downturn. Rental assistance is paid to landlords on behalf of tenants in order to prevent eviction and keep residents in their homes.
The MRA, which administers the Eviction Prevention Program, has partnered with two local nonprofits to provide services in the two courts that receive eviction cases from Malden. Housing Families, Inc. will provide legal aid and rental assistance in the Northeast Housing Court, located in Woburn, and Just-A-Start Corporation will provide mediation and rental assistance in Malden District Court, currently located in Medford. Each nonprofit’s program is funded with $250,000 in special Community Development Block Grant funds secured through the federal CARES Act. Both nonprofits have extensive experience providing court-based eviction prevention services to the Malden community.
“Housing Families stands ready to help Malden renters in court to keep them in their homes during the worst housing crisis we’ve seen in more than 30 years serving Malden,” said Housing Families CEO Laura Rosi. “These local resources will help us stop evictions and keep the Malden community together. We are proud to partner with the City to meet the challenge of this moment.”
“The pandemic has made the extent of our region’s housing crisis even clearer, and it has further destabilized communities throughout Greater Boston that were already challenged by high housing costs," said Carl Nagy-Koechlin, Just-A-Start's Executive Director. “Our experienced staff have been working since Day 1 in Malden District Court to help stabilize households during the pandemic, and these funds will help our efforts to keep families safe and securely housed."
Landlords must have approval from a judge to carry out an eviction, which can only happen after a trial. Tenants have the right to stay in their apartment until a court orders them to leave after a trial. Households facing eviction in Northeast Housing Court should contact Housing Families, Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-322-9119 ext. 8. Households facing eviction in Malden District Court should contact Just-A-Start Corporation at email@example.com or 617-494-0444. Households needing rental assistance who have not been served with an eviction notice should contact Human Services Director Karen Colón-Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-397-7144. For more information about the eviction prevention program, visit cityofmalden.org/eviction or contact Community Development Director Alex Pratt at email@example.com.