Letter from the Executive Director for April 2020: Coronavirus Resources, Virtual Events, Growing Usefulness

In the US, we only realized in March that the world changed in December, when novel COVID-19 left an animal host and entered the human species. For the first time in living memory, nearly every country and every culture in the world is going to have the same shared experience. This natural disaster may yet prove a unifying memory as we move forward to tackle our shared problems of public health, poverty, and climate change. But first, it falls to us to survive it, and to bring with us as many as possible into the post-virus world.

To that end, as housing providers we must enforce social distancing among our renters and staff and we must continue to provide the housing that is so essential for a stay-at-home order. We at MassLandlords are keenly aware that many of us, an increasing number, cannot provide housing without rents, and that mortgages, water bills, insurance, and tax liens are either not totally or not at all excused at this time. We are working on it. Make the best decisions you can for you and yours. Food and medications first. Emergency repairs second. All else we need to sort out.

We are enormously proud of the “COVID-19 Coronavirus Landlord-Tenant Laws, Regulations, and Procedures” page we are updating daily. Please bookmark and return to it frequently, and share.

We are continuing our normal events virtually and with webinars, with the exception of the many food service, venue, and event staff who took us this far. We are trying to help all remain afloat during this indefinite virtualization.

Our daily site traffic has increased from 600 unique people per day to almost 4,000 unique people per day. Every dues paying member should be enormously proud of the resource we have created for one another at MassLandlords. We have been able to share the urgency of our housing shortfalls with the Boston Globe, Banker and Tradesman, WCVB Channel 5, 89.7 WGBH, 90.9 WBUR, and many others.

Our primary goal at time of writing is a declaration of surety. Housing is essential. The Commonwealth can backstop unpaid rents. After all the work-from-home income and essential income, after subsidies, and after unemployment are all exhausted, one final comprehensive guarantee is needed to be sure that no one need leave their shelter or shut down housing during the pandemic. Please support us with dues, event participation, and property rights investments to the extent you are able. We will keep advocating for you and your housing as long as we are able.

Douglas Quattrochi
Executive Director
MassLandlords, Inc.

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