At yesterday's Zoomed-in City Council meeting, Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester), delayed action on a resolution calling on the city and state to freeze rents, mortgages, evictions and foreclosures during the Covid-19 state of emergency.
Councilor Ricardo Arroyo (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) had introduced the resolution (see below for copy), noting Mayor Walsh has already asked landlords to hold off evictions of suddenly jobless tenants and that the BHA and several non-profit landlords have agreed to do that.
Under council rules, proposed actions normally get introduced then sent to a committee for at least one hearing before the council actually votes on them. But on introducing his proposal, Arroyo asked for a suspension of the rules so that the council could vote immediately.
A rules suspension requires a unanimous vote. According to notes by Councilor Michelle Wu (at large), Baker - who is himself a small landlord - objected because "the matter was too complex and out of the City’s authority, so the docket was assigned to the Committee on Housing & Community Development."
Arroyo is now trying to organize an e-mail campaign to barrage Baker with messages from people who support the idea.