Do you know what’s in your lease?

Tenant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the CHA lease for public housing (soon to be Rental Assistance Demonstration or RAD developments)

compiled by Teresa Cardosi, Woodrow Wilson Court/Fairmont Village

TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2015— A new lease, grievance procedure, schedule of maintenance charges and legal fees, and Admissions and Continuing Occupancy Policy for Federal Public Housing (ACOP, the rule book for public housing*) went into effect on November 1, 2014. This followed an intensive process of negotiation between the CHA and tenant leaders and advocates. Teresa Cardosi was part of ACT’s negotiating team. Teresa was concerned that many tenants felt that they had to sign the new lease (not signing would have been a violation of the old lease) before they knew what was in it or what the changes would mean for them.

Senior aging: A realistic path to housing survival

by Joseph Caparco

MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 2015— I have lived in this city for 42 years. I worked locally in special arts education programs and volunteered in civic organizations and love being in a dynamic, diversified place. Each day, walking through Central Square I strongly felt, and still feel a part of a culturally diverse community that is home. Many of the residents are transient students and others are permanent resident owners. Many are seniors living alone.

I thought, on reaching 65 my life would get easier and that my place in Cambridge would be secure.

ACT, Legal Services: comments on CHA draft Plan

FRIDAY, JANUARY 2, 2015— Today ACT and Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services (CASLS) submitted  comments on CHA’s "Moving To Work" (MTW) Draft Annual Plan for the fiscal year beginning April 1.

CHA releases draft Plan for 2015-16

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2014— The Cambridge Housing Authority has made the draft of its next Annual Plan available for public comment. Click here to see the draft. The Plan covers Fiscal Year 2016 which begins April 1, 2015. The draft will be the subject of a public hearing at CHA heaquarters on Thursday, December 11 beginning at 6:00 p.m.  CHA staff will meeting with tenant leaders the following week and written comments will be accepted through  the first week in January.

Tenant Town Hall—update

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2014— Around 85 residents braved the threat of a nor'easter to attend the Tenant Town Hall in Central Square's Cambridge Senior Center yesterday evening. After opening remarks from Councillor Simmons, legal services attorneys and the co-chairs of ACT spoke briefly. The main event was residents speaking about their own experiences as tenants and their ideas about how to address the current crisis. 

CHA art contest

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014— The Cambridge Housing Authority invites voucher and public housing tenants to enter the annual CHA Resident Art Contest. First prize is $300. Artwork must be submitted by Friday, November 14. For details, click here

State public housing reform is law

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2014— This morning Governor Patrick signed public housing reform into law. The new law does not provide the sweeping change the Governor had hoped for but does include some significant innovations. Read a summary of what's new, or click for the complete text of H.4347.

Allston Street families need our help

Mayor establishes Fire Relief Fund

TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2014— Patricia Tuccinardi, aide to Mayor David Maher, writes: "Nine families were displaced and are currently staying in hotels and shelters. The majority of the residents displaced were renters, making it difficult to recover losses. These families are low income and working class and have lost all their possessions.

Update: State public housing reform: Senate, House bills differ

Senate would add to immigrant restrictions, increase DHCD oversight

TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2014— On Thursday, July 24th, the State Senate passed its own public housing reform bill, S.2292. The Senate version differs from the one passed by the House July 16th. According to Eric Shupin, Policy Associate at Citizens Housing And Planning Association (CHAPA), "It is likely that Public Housing Reform will go to Committee" to reconcile differences between the House and Senate reform bills.  

Restoring Bread and Jams for the Homeless

by Hasson Rashid

SATURDAY, JUNE 21, 2014— A Harvard Square day shelter for homeless people has been closed. It was a sad day for Cambridge. After decades of service, "Bread and Jams" will be missed. However a committee has been formed to restore the program's funding.