Staying connected

Phone and internet providers pledge leniency

SUNDAY, APRIL 5—Companies serving Massachusetts have signed a pledge to maintain phone and internet service to residents and small businesses who have trouble paying their bills during the current crisis. The pledge was circulated by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) as part of its Keep Americans Connected Initiative.

Cities order a halt to evictions, setting strict limits to landlord entry

SATURDAY, APRIL 4—Yesterday the City of Cambridge declared a moratorium on evictions. The temporary emergency order also  forbids “property owners and their agents” from any “non-essential entry” into tenants’ dwellings. The Cambridge order mirrors an order signed a week earlier by Somerville Mayor Curtatone. Other cities seem likely to follow Somerville’s lead.

Mass. House of Representatives : freeze evictions and foreclosures

from Rep. Mike Connolly’s office (edited)

FRIDAY, APRIL 3 — The Mass. House of Representatives has voted to set a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. The legislation is based on a bill filed on March 13 by Rep. Mike Connolly and Housing Committee Co-Chair Kevin Honan. It would stop most residential and commercial evictions until thirty days after the COVID-19 State of Emergency ends. 

Courts extend access restrictions

from Boston Bar Association

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1—SJC Issues Order Restricting Court Appearances to Emergency Matters Until May 4

In light of the ongoing and urgent public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Supreme Judicial Court today issued an Order that continues to restrict the number of people coming to Massachusetts state courthouses. 

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

by 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

by 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.