In July, the all-volunteer Board of Directors decided on the format of our dues increase, the first in seven years. Meanwhile our paid staff worked hard to expand our Home Depot benefit, push the envelope on rental assistance and further expand our ability to serve members.
The dues increase is detailed in this edition. I will call attention to three important things: first, a hardship waiver will allow any new or continuing member to receive the $100 pricing currently in effect. Second, the dues increase will not affect anyone on autorenew for at least a year. Third, membership is designed to have a positive return on investment for all landlords. We are redesigning the /join page to show this.
One tangible benefit is our Home Depot program expansion, which in July was opened membership-wide. Each of us members are now eligible to receive pricing on the basis of all MassLandlords members’ collective spend in 2020. Home Depot is just one of many suppliers you should consider before making any purchase, but early results show significant cost savings may be available.
Our 2021 first half lobbying report shows we put our resources to good use: $80,997.66 of policy-related work. Not included in this January-through-June report is our July policy advocacy, including a podcast with the Pioneer Institute, a discussion with the Department of Housing and Community Development about direct payments to renters and a discussion with the office of Senator Keenan on rental assistance. We have launched a poll (not a survey) to ask 200 members about each household that has needed rental assistance during the pandemic.
The certification test is live and ready for you to test your landlording mettle. We have had people pass. We have had people start to fail and pause to study. We have corrected one mistake in the test. This is all as intended. The dues increase will help us to sustain this program, market you as a Certified Massachusetts Landlord™ and further the return on your investment: any additional advertising power ought to result in lower vacancy and lower operating costs.
I would like to point out that if you had difficulty signing into the site before, now is an excellent time to try again. We rely on third-party software to handle authentication. Until we patched it the week of July 19, it was preventing anyone from logging in having once lapsed. This is now corrected, and by the time you read this, every last member will be able to log in. Or email email@example.com; we can fix any lingering issues.
I encourage you to become a Certified Massachusetts Landlord™ and to forward this newsletter to a friend so that they can become certified as well. Thank you for supporting our mission to create better rental housing.