Letter from the Executive Director for February 2023: Sponsors Needed for Deleading Credit

In January, a flurry of volunteer and staff activity resulted in the filing of five pro-housing bills. We submitted our DHCD appeal brief over rental assistance records. And Boston announced rent control plans, so we cleared our schedule for a few months to litigate.

The 193rd Massachusetts “general court” (legislature) convened in January, and we were ready with 11 bills to share with members and hopefully file. To my great delight, five of these bills have been filed this session, four with sponsorship, and one with identical text in both the house and the senate.

Our bill, “An Act to Further Lead Remediation in Rental Housing by Increasing the Deleading Credit,” would increase the Schedule LP deleading credit from $1,500 per unit to $15,000 per unit. This bill is ready for cosponsoring. Ask your representative and senator each to sponsor this deleading bill. The number for a representative is HD2630; for a Senator, SD862. An explainer video is on our site.

Our “We Need Your Help” article in this edition details the rest of the bills we are working on long-term. Some of these are also filed and ready for co-sponsorship now. At this point, though, the deleading credit has the shortest road to travel of any. It could pass into law this year or next.

We are extremely grateful to our over 60 policy volunteers who attended our 11 training Zooms in January to get these bills started.

Not all policy work is progress. Boston seems dead set on flinging us back to the ’70s with a second generation rent control ordinance. Mayor Wu has proposed an absolute price cap of 10% enforced by just cause eviction. Just-cause eviction would eliminate at-will tenancies, creating estates for life unless the renter commits one of a few pre-ordained offenses.

Mike Leyba of City Life/Vida Urbana was quoted by the Boston Globe as saying, “It’s not good enough. That is not why [the community] elected a progressive, pro-rent-control mayor.” Well, if even renters are angry at the mayor for this, she could try listening to housing providers for a change: Zoning reform and rental assistance are the paths forward, not rent control!

We will be filing suit against Boston in connection with their denial of our public records request.  (The drafting of this has been ongoing since summer 2022 and is expected to be complete by spring.)

We also continue our litigation against the Department of Housing and Community Development for losing tens of thousands of applications. Our appeal brief filed Jan. 23 was 285 pages long.

MassLandlords’ work benefits owners, managers and service providers of rental housing across the industry. Please join as a member, become a property rights supporter or increase your level of support.

Sincerely,

Douglas Quattrochi

Executive Director

MassLandlords, Inc.

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