Webinar Wed July 8: Oppose Rent Cancellation and Hear Our Alternative: A Fair and Equal Housing Guarantee via Surety Bonds, First Bill Text Released

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07/08/2020 11:00 AM - 07/08/2020 12:00 PM

We have an opportunity to solve the housing crisis, guarantee rental housing however long the pandemic lasts, pay every landlord for it, and avoid bankrupting the Commonwealth in the process.

Unfortunately, the Massachusetts legislature seems poised to cancel rents for a year or more, meaning that essentially all rental housing will have to be provided for free indefinitely, until we contain COVID-19 and lift the state of emergency (HD.5166):

"nor shall such rent or use and occupancy payments be recoverable in any proceeding"

Rent cancellation is certain to bankrupt affordable housing providers in droves, who will sell out to condo conversions and never look back. The rent cancellation bill comes with a variety of other proposals including eviction sealing and just cause eviction; landlords have been saying for years that these will further reduce affordable housing supply. We have a consensus alternative:

This webinar will be the public unveiling of our 32 page educational resource and bill text for a “Fair and Equal Housing Guarantee via Surety Bonds.” This is a landscape-changing policy that would guarantee rental housing during the pandemic and simultaneously address the housing crisis:

  1. Eligible landlords would purchase surety bonds to guarantee full rent for every rental unit affected by COVID-19. In exchange for a guarantee of being paid back, however long it takes, landlords cannot evict for nonpayment.
  2. The bonds would be paid for and underwritten by the Commonwealth, specifically by a $300 million increase in the Chapter 64 excise tax applied only to deeds for land zoned single family. According to MLS, $27 billion worth of single family deeds were transferred in 2019.
  3. To avoid the tax, simply convert the single-family zoned lot to multifamily as-of-right.

This webinar will review the detailed documentation, bill text, and resources available.

coversheet for the fair and equal housing guarantee via surety bonds
Coversheet for the Fair and Equal Housing Guarantee via Surety Bonds
bill first page for the fair and equal housing guarantee via surety bonds
First page of bill text for the Fair and Equal Housing Guarantee via Surety Bonds

This presentation will be given by MassLandlords Executive Director Doug Quattrochi, Legislative Affairs Counsel Attorney Peter Vickery, and MassLandlords Helpline Advisor Peter Shapiro.

Doug Quattrochi was a founding member of MassLandlords in 2013. He became the association’s first Executive Director under new bylaws in 2014. Since then, he has scaled the organization from a core of 160 members in Worcester to approximately 1,900 dues paying businesses from Pittsfield to the Cape, and from an all-volunteer team to approximately 20 full and part-time staff plus 50 volunteers. Doug has been instrumental in advancing democratic governance mechanisms, including score voting for policy priorities and a staggered and democratically elected Board of Directors. Doug also oversees the RentHelper spin-off, which is expanding access to electronic banking for those of us who are unbanked or underbanked. Prior to MassLandlords, Doug held leadership roles in various Massachusetts startups, two of which are still operating. Doug holds a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Peter Vickery of Bobrowski & Vickery, LLC, practices law in Western Massachusetts where he focuses on landlord-tenant law (representing landlords in Housing Court) and discrimination defense (representing business owners in the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination). He graduated from Oxford University (Jesus College) with a BA in Modern History; obtained his Post-Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of the West of England in Bristol; his JD from Boston University School of Law; and his Masters in Public Policy & Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Attorney Vickery served one term on the Governor's Council (the elected 8-member body that approves or vetoes the governor's choice of judges in Massachusetts) and on the State Ballot Law Commission. As Legislative Affairs Counsel for MassLandlords he drafts bills, bill summaries, and testimony in the area of housing law, and writes amicus briefs in cases that have strategic significance for rental-property owners.

A graduate of MIT’s Master’s Program in City Planning, Peter Shapiro founded and directed Mediation For Results, a Program at Just-A-Start Corporation, a nonprofit in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 1990 to 2015, Peter and his team provided landlord counseling, mediation and homelessness prevention, and led landlord support groups across Metro Boston. Peter now provides Helpline and Member services for MassLandlords and also provides landlord counseling and mediation for the City of Boston. Peter is the author of: The Good Landlord: A Guide to Making a Profit While Making a Difference.

Wednesday, July 8th

  • 11:00 am Webinar Begins
  • 12:00 pm Webinar Ends (this webinar may run late to 1:15)


This webinar is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Webinar Details (hosted by Zoom)

We will share our video, audio, and computer screen and slides.

  • You can chat questions. You will not be on video or audio.

Watch Live (on July 8, 2020 11:00 AM):

When: Jul 8, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Topic: Webinar 2020 July 8 Oppose Rent Cancellation and Hear Our Alternative Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82656980072?pwd=dFJZdXJnTmw0aW03SkpHRUY5UzFiZz09 Password: 962319 Or iPhone one-tap : US: +13126266799,,82656980072#,,,,0#,,962319# or +16468769923,,82656980072#,,,,0#,,962319# Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 408 638 0968 or +1 669 900 6833 Webinar ID: 826 5698 0072 Password: 962319 International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbOS1wbYTN

Watch Recording (after July 10, 2020):

Recording Link:
This webinar recording will be made publicly available.

Open to the Public. Registration is not required

The webinar counts for continuing education credit for Certified Massachusetts Landlord Level Three. Beep in. Beep out.


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