Councilor Ed Flynn is worried about evictions in the city of Boston.
During the regular city council meeting, Flynn called for a hearing regarding evictions and how to find solutions in helping residents.
Currently, if someone is facing an eviction for reasons other than non-payment, they have 30 days to find new housing. However, Flynn wants longer periods. He is recommending if someone has lived in the same house for more than five years, they have a year to find a new place. If they are a senior citizen or low income, they will have two years to find new housing.
“30 days is not enough time,” said Flynn. “It’s hard to prepare for court and find a new place in 30 days.”
Flynn mentioned that residents often don’t have the financial resources for an attorney to go to court if they are facing an unfair eviction.
Councilor Lydia Edwards applauded Flynn for calling the hearing. She said there are 43 evictions a day in Massachusetts. She also said if someone goes to eviction court, that stays on their record for the rest of their life.
“It has a ripple effect,” she said. “It’s a scarlet letter that lasts forever.”
She said there is currently legislation being worked on at the State House to seal eviction records after three years. Edwards hopes her colleagues support the legislation when it comes time. According to Edwards, women are being evicted at higher rates than men.
“This is happening all over the city,” Councilor Kim Janey added. “There has to be an ongoing conversation about this.”
In other business, Janey called for a hearing during the city council meeting about diversity in teachers at Boston Public Schools (BPS).
“We need to make sure our teachers are matching the rich diversity of our students,” said Janey.
Janey mentioned that BPS is under court order to keep certain levels of diversity, but a lot of teachers are retiring so they are seeing a steady decline in diverse teachers.
The court order calls for 25 percent of teachers to be black and 10 percent to be other races.
“I don’t think that is adequate,” Janey said.
Currently, the student population is 42 percent Latino, 34 percent black, 14 percent white and 9 percent Asian.