‘Eviction equals death’: Demonstrators lock arms, block Boston Housing Court entrance over planned hearings

BOSTON (WHDH) - Housing advocates held a rally outside of the Boston Housing Court on Thursday calling for an end to evictions in the state due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Demonstrators at the rally blocked the doors of the housing court and demanded lawmakers pass a bill to extend the eviction moratorium for a year to protect tenants.

The moratorium expired in October and tenants worry that they will be unable to pay their rent. It’s estimated that 100,000 households across the state are at risk of evictions.

Angry and concerned advocates spoke at Thursday’s rally. Some locked arms in order to block the courthouse entrance.

“We’ve had to move because of expensive rents … this isn’t right, people need homes. I don’t want to die, I deserve to live,” former South Boston resident Elise Orchard told 7News.

“I’m willing to stand here and block the housing court and put my body on the line,” organizer Alex Ponte-Capellan said.

Gov. Charlie Baker recently unveiled a $171 million eviction diversion initiative meant to support renters and tenants during the pandemic. But housing advocates say the plan does not go far enough to stop mass evictions.

Demonstrators plan to rally again until they get the relief they want to make sure that people get housing.

“Right now, eviction equals death,” one demonstrator said.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)