Letter from the Executive Director for September 2022: Hottest Yet

In August we advanced our mission to create better rental housing through conversations on climate, lead, evictions and rent control. Also the RentHelper service reached a new milestone.

This summer was the hottest since recordkeeping began in 1872, as measured in days above 90 degrees. Owners and managers should take advantage of the Mass Save incentives and rebates to address climate change. New this year are dramatic incentives for heat pumps, which provide air conditioning, and induction stoves, which are better than gas in every way. A distressing but powerful APOD graph of global heating shows the urgency. We took a meeting with CLEAResult, who will be presenting this fall about Mass Save’s new pilot. Aspects of project management will be included in energy assessments to help owners upgrade entire portfolios at a time.

It will be hard to address climate change, the next pandemic and all the other issues we face if our brains are addled by lead exposure. For this reason, and because of tighter CDC limits, we’ve started an effort to build a coalition around increasing the Schedule LP deleading credit for the first time in 50 years (since the credit was created). We introduced ourselves to the Department of Public Health. Our next steps will be highlighted at an event September 20.

We provided journalistic background and on-the-record comments to GBH twice. First, we helped them in their story about three-decker fire hazards. Second, we helped them understand the tenant opportunity to purchase act (TOPA) and our opposition (story to be published).

Rent control is a threat we continue to deal with. If people knew how bad it was, they wouldn’t want it. This is why we’ve started digitizing decades of records from the rent control years. This project has been running since early August using a high-speed document scanner run by a team member on-boarded for this purpose.

We continued to litigate our case against the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Despite unprecedented success in rolling out some aspects of rental assistance, DHCD botched other aspects and then refused to allow public scrutiny. We have obtained two renter affidavits and one researcher affidavit for the next steps in our case.

RentHelper expanded the availability of weekly, biweekly and “monthly on the first weekday” payment plans to all renters. A RentHelper payment plan is a great alternative to eviction or cash for keys. Many renters who have been unable to save an entire month’s rent have stabilized when paying more frequently.

MassLandlords is an enormously valuable service to owners, managers and service providers of rental housing. Please join as a member, become a property rights supporter or increase your level of support.

Sincerely,

Douglas Quattrochi

Executive Director

MassLandlords, Inc.

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