Just Cause Eviction Staved off by Tweeting?

Just cause and TwitterYou may recall that shortly after Christmas, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he was in favor of a "just cause eviction" ordinance. He has suddenly stopped talking about it, and we're wondering why.

"Just cause eviction" is a proposed city ordinance sponsored by some tenant advocates who want to prevent gentrification. Their recommendation is that any rent increase over 5%, especially rent increases following renovations, would have to be reviewed. The review process is by design so slow and onerous that no sane person would do it. The idea is a bit like reducing the cost of public roads by agreeing we won't ever pave them again.

The Small Property Owners Association in Cambridge, part of the MassLandlords network, took it upon themselves to oppose the idea vehemently. They included the Boston City Council on their mailing list. Perhaps what they said resonated with the Mayor.

Or perhaps it had something to do with Twitter? We tweeted at the Mayor and at City Council President Michelle Wu twice in January. We linked to our center-politics explanation of Just Cause Eviction. Did they see these tweets? We doubt it.

Whether it was the SPOA newsletter, Twitter, or the Mayor's own good sense, on January 19th Mayor Walsh said nothing about "just cause eviction" and announced the creation of a new "Office of Housing Stability." The mission and staffing of the new office are not yet known. But it does seem like a venue to hear out the tenant advocates and perhaps invite some landlord advocates into the room, too.

We welcome the chance to improve the quality of Massachusetts rental housing together.

[Last Minute Edition] Apparently we're not invited: We've learned that the far-left tenant advocates and Boston City Council will be scheduling a hearing on a Just Cause Eviction ordinance. More to follow.

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