This website is now closed

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30—In their agenda for ACT's September 12 virtual (ZOOM) Board meeting, the organization's officers announced that this website would be replaced with a new one in the near future.

Therefore this website is now closed. As soon as the new website is launched, its internet address will be published at the top of this page. That will be the only new piece of information to appear here after October 1st, 2020.

CHA Annual Report

Public hearing set for Sept. 15

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8—The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) has released a draft of its Annual Report, focusing on the agency's work over the past year and its plans for the next fiscal year (FY 2021). As a Moving-To-Work (MTW) agency, CHA is required to hold a public hearing and receive comments on this draft before it is finalized for publication. Anyone, without restriction, may attend the public hearing. Of course under  COVID emergency conditions, public attendance will not be in-person but virtual.

A National Eviction Moratorium

What it means

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5—The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has ordered a nationwide halt to residential evictions for the rest of the year 2020, following an August 8 executive order from President Trump. The CDC order, effective September 4, doesn’t yet apply in Massachusetts. That’s because our current State moratorium already affords more protection against evictions than the CDC order. However that order will take effect here too if the State moratorium runs out before Dec. 31, 2020.

Cities back Right to Counsel

Annette Duke, Mass. Law Reform Institute

TUESDAY, AUGUST 18—Twenty-one Mayors and Managers across the state have sent Governor Baker a letter urging him to dedicate $6 million in funding to start an emergency right to counsel pilot program and signal that this is part the Commonwealth’s strategy to preserve tenancies and stabilize people’s housing.

Rules for realtors, renters, buyers

Cambridge sets new conditions for entry

FRIDAY, JULY 24—Cambridge has amended its emergency eviction moratorium order. The original order did not allow realtors or owners to enter your home with prospective renters or buyers. Now they may, but only under certain conditions.

Regardless of this amendment, a tenant who is especially vulnerable to COVID-19—due to an existing medical condition or being aged over 64—may still refuse entry. 

Gov. Baker extends eviction freeze

from Banker & Tradesman

TUESDAY, JULY 21—Amid rising concern that a “tsunami” of evictions would strike Massachusetts renters on Aug. 18 and proposed solutions would significantly harm landlords and lenders, Gov. Charlie Baker announced he is extending the state’s eviction moratorium through Oct. 17The law that created the current freeze, which also covers residential mortgages, includes a provision that allows Baker to extend it in 90-day increments. The moratorium was originally set to expire Aug. 18. 

Reaching for the emergency brake

from CHAPA Housing Briefs

THURSDAY, JULY 9—Concerns continue to increase about the threat of a “tsunami of evictions” this fall, when federal and state moratoriums may end. Households are also facing an end to expanded unemployment benefits for those workers who lost their job due to COVID-19. It's estimated that 120,000 households in Massachusetts are in danger of being unable to keep up with rent and mortgage payments. In response to these concerns, state, housing providers, local communities, and advocates are increasing efforts to prevent evictions and provide emergency rental assistance.

New state Rental Assistance Fund

by New England Cable News

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1—Applications open Wednesday for a new $20 million fund set up by the state to help people who are behind on their rent or mortgage payments. The new funding will serve twice as many households as the traditional Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program (RAFT) by expanding the eligibility to families who would otherwise not qualify.

About that security deposit refund…

delayed by virus emergency, money now on the way

TUESDAY, JUNE 30—Earlier this year the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) decided that managing security deposit accounts for thousands of tenants was not worth the trouble. On Jan 22 the CHA Board of Commissioners voted to refund security deposits to tenants of its managed properties. CHA staff planned to get all the refunds out by March 31. But then the coronavirus came along.

Local backing for tenant protections

TUESDAY, JUNE 30—The Cambridge City Council voted a policy order last night in support of a broad tenant protection bill filed by Reps Mike Connolly and Nika Elugardo. The vote was 8-1 in favor. This was one of two pro-rent control bills reported out of committee favorably two weeks ago. A yes vote had been urged by an unusual coalition of four housing-oriented local organizations, including ACT.