In December, we published the first of many eviction filing reports, battled COVID, opened and reopened elections, and set a course to expand services to Spanish-first members.
Eviction data is being closely watched by the Trial Courts, renter nonprofits, and the administration. Although the Trial Courts are publishing data on evictions, the data published to date do not tell us everything landlords want to know. The first of MassLandlords’ own weekly eviction filing reports were published in December and offer a level of detail and direction that court reports have not.
The MassLandlords team are all virtual at this point except to send and receive the mail. Despite this, our operations have been impacted by illness acquired elsewhere four times in the last month (and for those of you familiar with whatever I have going on, I’m not counting myself among the four). COVID is a serious disease. Hopeful though we may feel with a vaccine on the horizon, now is not the time for complacency, social closeness, or mask-free excursions. At no point before have we had such rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 or as many daily deaths as we have in December. Be careful, social distance, and wear a mask. And make sure your renters and your maintenance teams do as well.
It looks at long last as if we can expand the Spanish-language Lawrence chapter. We expect to soon have the resources we need to offer the crash course in Spanish. MassLandlords will match external investment with our own in the Spanish language message board, translations of educational material, and expansion of member (and renter) service to Spanish speaking residents of MA. Much of the difficulty in Massachusetts landlord-tenant policy originates from an unequal availability of resources for those of us who don’t speak English as a primary language. We can help with this.
Our annual elections for director opened and closed, and at time of writing had reopened. MassLandlords, Inc. is a democratically governed 501(c)6 trade association. We rely on member input to operate. This year, with election fatigue, COVID-fatigue, and policy fatigue, we fell short of quorum by a small number of participants. We asked our members to pour just a bit more into 2020 for this vote, which at time of writing was ongoing.
The next legislative session begins in January. There will be a flurry of bill filings, the overwhelming majority of which will go nowhere. Massachusetts government is sadly not a crowd-sourced platform; you need permission to make changes and most people don’t have it. We will keep plugging away at it.
Thank you for your support in our mission to create better rental housing.