SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Among the 17 executive orders President Joe Biden signed on his first day in office was the extension of the federal eviction moratorium.

Eviction moratorium MGN 101420

Image Courtesy: MGN Online

Western Mass News spoke with Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman, who said there are currently around 500 pending evictions in the city of Springfield alone. While some said this extension is progress, others said it's just a band-aid on a bigger issue.

On his first day as the 46th President of the United States, President Joe Biden tackled a list of executive actions. One of which extended the federal eviction moratorium until March 31.

"That has been one of the most pressing issues facing us in the pandemic," said City Councilor Jess Lederman.

Springfield City Councilor and chair of Springfield's COVID-19 Response Committee Jesse Lederman told Western Mass News there are hundreds of struggling renters in the city.

"We’ve seen 500 evictions pending in the city of Springfield as a result of nonpayment. Luckily, we see very few executions," he noted.

He told Western Mass News while this extension will be a sigh of relief for many families feeling the financial impacts of the pandemic, it doesn't fix their struggles.

"This is one of the biggest issues that keep me up at night thinking of the prospect of families being unhoused, especially in the pandemic. If we think of 500 evictions, there are thousands of people, and the system is certainly not equipped to handle that," he said.

Rose Webster-Smith, the program director of Springfield No One Leaves, an organization that provides resources to combat the housing crisis, said they want President Biden to do more than sign this two-month extension.

"We would, however, like him to strengthen the CDC moratorium as we see that too many people are falling through the cracks," she said.

Webster-Smith told Western Mass News her organization is helping over 800 families across western Mass. facing eviction or foreclosure, and a two-month extension is only the first step in solving a greater problem.

"It is a small blessing, but also a band-aid," she added.

Those in need of immediate assistance can contact all the participating community organizations, including:

  • Way Finder at (413) 233-1600 or email at info@wayfinders.org
  • Community Legal Aid at (855) 252-5342
  • Springfield No One Leaves at (413) 342-1804 or email at info@springfieldnooneleaves.org
  • Arise for Social Justice at (413) 734-4948
  • Springfield Partners for Community Action at (413) 263-6500

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