Letter from the Executive Director for October 2021: RAFT Denials Going Once, Going Twice…

In September, Boston enacted a municipal eviction moratorium, the state revamped the application for rental assistance and MassLandlords worked hard on both these issues and more.

Acting Mayor Janey of the City of Boston announced Boston’s eviction moratorium on Aug. 31. No member has yet come forward as impacted. The moratorium stops neither lawful filings nor executions. It seems to be merely political discouragement.

On Sept. 13, the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission wrote a letter to constables admitting as much: “While the terms of this [eviction moratorium] Order regulate the conduct of landlords rather than the provision of constable services directly, I respectfully request your [voluntary] assistance in implementing this order.”

Of course, the correct housing response to the Delta variant is not another eviction moratorium but rather vaccines first, and rental assistance second. The Department of Housing and Community Development has listened to our feedback about the latter. They have developed a greatly simplified application for rental assistance, now being tested. Overall, our concerns are being heard.

Have you been wrongfully denied rental assistance? We conducted a poll of approximately 200 members, of which approximately 50 could be prevailed upon to provided detailed responses. One of those members alleges they were denied. Among our members, therefore, it seems we cannot verify the state’s overall 50% denial rate. Who applied and was denied? Have your renters passed from Covid? Were they evicted? Email us at hello@masslandlords.net if you were timed out or denied.

We filed a public records request with the Department of Housing and Community Development to investigate these denials, but were ourselves were denied.

In related news, we asked for an extension to our Spanish Language Crash Course, but the CEO of the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, who were funding us, said, “There won’t be a next time” for MassLandlords. We did nothing wrong and were performing under budget. We have filed a public records request to learn more about their decision-making process.

MassLandlords filed an amicus brief in the case of Sanchez v. Collins. This case has important implications for whether and how a statewide eviction moratorium comes back, if ever. Article to follow.

Finally, we have stepped up our response to climate change. In this issue, find two articles indicating both the severity of the problem and the actions each of us can take to help.

Remember our dues increase is coming. And remember you can test your landlording knowledge by becoming a Certified Massachusetts Landlord™. Thank you for supporting our mission to create better rental housing.


Douglas Quattrochi

Executive Director

MassLandlords, Inc.