Cites Concerns for Vulnerable Residents at Risk of Losing Their Homes
Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn announced that he will call for a hearing this week regarding ways that the city and other organizations can assist long-term residents facing eviction and displacement. The City of Boston has one of the most expensive rental markets in the country, and many residents – particularly lower income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities – now often face the threat of displacement. In light of these conditions, Flynn believes that tenants who have lived in properties for five years or more should be provided one year’s notice to vacate for reasons other than nonpayment, along with information regarding resources available to assist with searching for new housing; while seniors, the disabled, and low-income residents should be afforded two years notice for reasons other than nonpayment.
Residents who have lived in properties for five years or more, who are facing eviction due to property sale,s are not only losing apartments, but are losing their homes. It places even more undue pressure on these tenants to find comparable housing in only 30 days. Boston currently has a condo conversion law that provides certain protections to tenants and this proposal would afford some of those protections to displaced residents.
Recently, the Boston Globe Magazine published a piece that highlighted the difficulties that Boston area tenants face when fighting eviction, as many of our most vulnerable tenants lack the resources to hire an attorney to represent them in housing court. Moreover, Councilor Flynn has witnessed the impact of the rising rental and housing markets on long-time tenants in the community as, very recently, the owner of A Salon in Chinatown was facing eviction after the building owner attempted to increase rents for his business. Similar stories are not rare throughout the district and the city.
“I’ve heard from many residents in my district who have faced the very real threat of displacement, or are very concerned about their ability to stay in their homes due to rising rents,” Councilor Flynn said. “Ensuring that our residents can continue to live and do business in our city without constantly fearing eviction is a top priority for me. I look forward to this conversation so that we may enable tenants to have better access to attorneys and resources, as well as extending the notice period for long-term tenants for reasons other than for non-payment, especially for our most vulnerable- our seniors, the disabled, and low-income residents.”
For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 or [email protected].