Letter from the Executive Director for May 2018

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Last month we explored a possible new service, dealt with more staffing work, and explored engagement around various policy options. The next possible service we would develop might be the “helpline,” which we’re modeling after the California Apartment Association (CAA). They have successfully created a way for their “premium plus”…

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Worcester Revisiting “Four or More” Rule on Density

On April 10, the Worcester City Council forwarded a moratorium on the “four or more” rule concerning unrelated residents to the Economic Development Subcommittee. This is generally viewed as a favorable step towards reform. The “four or more” rule prohibits four or more unrelated occupants from cohabiting unless the premises…

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Remembering Representative Chris Walsh

Last week, we were saddened to learn of the death of State Representative Chris Walsh, who was an architect by profession, a strong supporter of sensible land-use laws, and a champion of our organization’s rent-escrow bill. Those of us who had the pleasure of getting to know him will fondly…

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Yim v Seattle Overturns “First in Time” Ordinance

In a potentially precedent-setting case, the Superior Court of Washington (State) In and For King County ruled in Yim v Seattle against the City’s “first in time” ordinance. The three major decision points concerned implicit bias, property rights, and free speech. Judge Suzanne Parisien granted the request of landlord Chong…

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Tenant Right of First Refusal: Details of MA Proposal, Comparison with DC TOPA

The tenant right of first refusal proposed by Representative Provost in H.3017 and discussed in Cambridge and Somerville is similar to Washington D.C.’s 1980 “Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act” (TOPA), but corrects several issues and creates additional challenges. District of Columbia’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) The Washington D.C.…

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