New Eviction Policy in the City of Malden

The Malden Eviction Policy was ordered by Mayor Christenson and was effective on December 21, 2020. The Eviction Policy states that tenants cannot be evicted on account of no payment of rent or no-fault causes. The policy was initiated to prevent health issues due to COVID-19 by averting evictions.

Hearing the Eviction Policy in Malden, many of the Malden High School students have opinions about the policy. Students were relieved due to the policy “taking the weight off [her] parents’ shoulders” said sophomore Christel Jean-Baptiste, who heard about the Eviction Policy from a friend. Another sophomore, Bryanna Fitzgibbon, shared more of a positive view towards the government’s help expressing that “the policy is good, especially because of COVID-19 where people are not working and making as much money, the government [is not] just worried about money and worried about actual people” said Fitzgibbon. 

The Eviction Policy has caused a lot of controversies. Many people are thankful for the policy but others have used the policy to not pay for what they can afford rent. Divina Wembi, a sophomore at Malden High School, has a different perspective on the topic. Wembi believes that “it depends on what [individuals] plan on spending their money on if they do have enough to pay rent.” 

People sometimes assume that not paying rent during COVID-19 is not right and think the worst, but that is not always the case. According to survey data from TransUnion, an estimated 52% of Americans continue to state that they are still financially impacted generally by the pandemic. Fewer people have been affected and able to find new jobs or depend on unemployment benefits to carry their payments. Although 75% are most worried about paying their bills. 

Unemployment and rent are not the only struggles people are worried about fulfilling. According to an estimate made in August by the Economic Policy Institute because of layoffs during the pandemic, as many as 12 million Americans have lost their health coverage. Accounting for the loss of employment and adding up medical bills and living expenses during COVID-19, people are pressured about where payment is needed first.

With the Eviction Policy, tenants can only be evicted from their homes by a court’s order. This accommodation can bring peace to both a tenant and landlord. “Having to go to court to get evicted is good because it gives the residents a chance to fight the eviction,” said Fitzgibbon. Not only residents but landlords can also have a chance to make their case. The court order eviction really gives both sides a chance at getting what they want fairly. 

There are many advantages and disadvantages to Malden’s Eviction Policy depending on your situation. Jean-Baptiste believes that “overall this policy will do a lot of good for many people because it will help the others that are struggling and of course, there are going to be people that will take advantage but there are bad people everywhere and we just have to deal with it.” Fitzgibbon reflected on the policy, explaining that “[the] policy affected [her] family in a good way,” as her “parents [could not] work because of COVID-19 and the policy really helped.” There are many key elements to consider when taking this policy and how it helps Malden residents.

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