Board amends ACT bylaws

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11—The ACT Governing Board met on February 9 to vote on amendments to the group's bylaws, the first such changes since 2016. You may see the amended Bylaws here. Besides the proposals announced in advance, there was an additional amendment that had to be considered.

ACT was established in 2008 to represent public housing residents in Cambridge as well as all tenants with vouchers administered by the Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA), whether those voucher tenants live in Cambridge or elsewhere. Until recently, all CHA vouchers placed outside Cambridge were "housing choice" or mobile vouchers. But now CHA is involved in the preservation of a number of  "expiring-use" housing developments outside Cambridge. There are two in Lynn and one as far away as Southbridge, a town west of Worcester. The tenants in these buildings do not have mobile vouchers—their vouchers are "project-based," meaning that they are attached to the apartments rather than belonging to the households.

Around 1700 households are currently served by CHA in such "project-based" voucher developments outside Cambridge. 

The new amendment to the Bylaws says that, at least for the rest of 2019, the tenants in these developments will not be considered as ACT members. The new ACT Board elected in October will be able to reconsider whether they should be included.

The ACT Board also

• voted to approve the organization's budget for the 2019 fiscal year

• heard reports that calls to the ACT Office and outreach to tenant councils increased greatly during 2018

• heard a brief report on the first meeting of the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tenant Displacement