Debt collectors reined in; leniency for late rents; no gas & light shutoffs; guidance for housing managers…

Neighbors and officials pitch in 

SATURDAY, MARCH 28—We and many of our neighbors must now cope with sudden loss of both income and access to goods and services. State and local authorities are moving on several fronts to forestall what might otherwise be a massive collapse of household security. At the same time, neighbors are organizing to help one another weather the gathering storm. Everyone should be aware of the the developments discussed below.

Eviction moratorium in affordable housing—but there’s more to do

David Howard King, Shelterforce

MONDAY, MARCH 23—Joe Kriesberg of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) recalls the feeling on Saturday, March 14, “the day the world changed”: the stock market plummeting, the National Basketball Association postponing their season. That week, tenant advocates across Boston—like City Life/Vida Urbana (CLVU)—started pushing for a moratorium on evictions, and affordable housing management groups began discussions about implementing a voluntary freeze of their own.

Sweeping measures by CHA, agencies, courts in virus emergency

Here's what's happening

MONDAY, MARCH 16— The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) has closed its headquarters office to the public and ordered all its building managers to stop meeting with residents in person. Because of the coronavirus emergency, “walk-in hours” are on hold for at least the next thirty days. Recerts and other business will have to be done through telephone or internet connections.

LLC? REAC? What the ##*&! is that?

Look it up in ACT’s affordable housing glossary

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3—You come to a meeting about housing issues. You hear speakers repeatedly using unfamiliar words and phrases. You would like to know what they are talking about but they don't seem to have time to explain what all these terms mean. So you may leave the meeting with only a vague idea what was going on. Several years ago some people at ACT began to address this problem by working on a glossary of definitions for commonly used housing terms. The ACT office announces that this glossary is finally available.

CHA to return all security deposits

bill cunningham

THURSDAY, JANUARY 23—The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) will no longer ask its tenants for security deposits. Not only that, CHA intends to refund all security deposits that tenants have already paid. Last night the Board of Commissioners approved this new policy. CHA expects to mail out refund checks between February 15 and March 31.

RENT CONTROL HEARINGS SET

at the State House, Tuesday, January 14

SATURDAY, JANUARY 11— The Joint Legislative Committee on Housing will hold hearings on important housing bills including proposals for local option rent control. The hearings will take place in the largest space in the State House, the Gardner Auditorium.

The hearings will begin at 10:30 a.m. There will also be a rally for rent control outside the State House at noon. Cambridge residents can easily get to te State House by taking the Red Line to Park Street Station.

Results in Governing Board election

New Board begins 2½ year term in December

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8—The votes are counted at last. ACT has a new Governing Board that will meet to select its executive officers on December 7. ACT voters have also weighed in on some policy questions for the new Board’s guidance.

ACT ballots to be counted Nov. 2

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30—Volunteers from the Arlington League of Women Voters will open the ballot box and begin counting the votes at the ACT Office shortly after 4:00 in the afternoon of Saturday, November 2. There are sixty-five candidates for thirty seats on the ACT Governing Board. Results are expected to be announced by 7:00 p.m.

State House rent control rally Oct. 26

City Life leads push to support local option bills

Postal muddle delays ACT vote tally

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18— The counting of votes in the ACT Board election has been postponed to the first week in November. This decision is due to unexplained delays in the delivery of mailed ballots by the U.S. Postal Service. More than 90 percent of ballots in ACT Board elections are cast by mail.