September was very busy on all fronts. We made substantial contributions to rent control opposition and climate change, but sadly the latter came too late for parts of Leominster. Our Boston public records suit is moving forward, and so is our EOHLC records suit. We promoted a key team member and planned more regular in-person meetings.
Rent control opposition is building steam. I had a very encouraging meeting with the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. The industry is united in opposition to the lunatic ballot initiative filed for 2024. Supporters want carte blanche to control development, condo conversion, broker fees, move-in monies, evictions, criminal law and rents. Really rent control is the smallest piece. Please if you can, donate $200 to help us build our “history of rent control” website. Meanwhile, attorneys are appealing the attorney general’s certification of the ballot question.
Separately, our appeal against the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities is scheduled for October 5 at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston. In case you missed it, they lost 47,000 of the 151,000 applications for rental assistance. We want to see how favorites were played. The case law is clear: the lower court must hear the case. While we duke it out, anyone concerned with rental assistance delaying a case should speak with an attorney about subpoenaing the subsidy administrator. This has worked in other cases.
We are also still litigating against the city of Boston for the Rent Stabilization Advisory Committee. The mayor appointed lobbyists and donors, then refused to let us see the email proof. I have produced an affidavit that will explain to the courts our concerns with improper lobbying. This is being filed as a motion to expedite.
We continue to devote substantial time and attention to providing feedback on the next three-year plan for Mass Save. We hope to see the data at https://riskfactor.com/ used to inform public investment decisions. If you haven’t used it, enter your address now. Downtown Leominster had severe flood risk, and this sadly came to pass. Many of us still have time to sell, or buy flood insurance.
We had small but good meetups in Longmeadow and Worcester. These are the first steps to a monthly get-together. The next big headline events are Oct. 12 in Longmeadow, then Nov. 1 in Waltham, then Dec. 6 in Worcester.
Congratulations to Jillian Campayno, who is now our Senior Information Manager, Supervisor. Jillian manages association operations and is point of contact for a third of our team.
Lastly, the RentHelper service hit a milestone of over $10 million collected, lifetime.
Remember that our annual business meeting is coming up and we need nominations for the Board of Directors. Also, a series of nine bylaws changes are to be proposed for MassLandlords. These should help enshrine certain cultural aspects of how we run things, including our Certified Massachusetts Landlord™ program and also our Policy Priorities Survey.
Thank you for supporting our mission to create better rental housing. Please join as a member, become a property rights supporter or increase your level of support. We aim to hire both a full-time educator and policy advocate.