BOSTON – State Representative Chris Walsh (D-Framingham) joined his legislative colleagues, particularly Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, who sponsored the housing court expansion in the budget, to pass a Fiscal Year 2018 Budget which includes funding and authorization for the expansion of the Housing Court, an issue that Representative Walsh been spearheaded since the 2011-2012 Legislative Session, when he first filed legislation to expand the Housing Court.
“Recognizing that one-third of the residents in the Commonwealth currently do not have access to a Housing Court, working with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and other groups, we crafted legislation to expand the Housing Court across the entire state, that has been supported both by the entire Framingham legislative delegation and more than 50 legislators,” said Representative Walsh, in a press release.
The Housing Court has judges and staff with expertise in housing law and who are trained to provide tenants and landlords with a fair court process. Both landlords and tenants can access the resources that only Housing Courts have, including the Tenancy Preservation Program, Lawyer for the Day Programs and Housing Specialists. Homelessness can be prevented and municipalities can address serious housing and health code violations efficiently and effectively.
“More than 100 organizations including Public Health, Public Safety, Domestic Violence organizations and municipalities have pledged their support for Housing Court expansion. This is an investment that makes fiscal and policy sense,” added Representative Walsh.
The Fiscal Year 2018 budget – set at $40.2 billion – is now on Governor Baker’s desk awaiting his signature.