If you wish to add your name to the below statement in the support of the Jim Brooks Stabilization Act please fill out the form below. I will be emailing this statement with your name, neighborhood, and affiliation to Boston to the City Council on the morning of March 6, 2017. This statement will be cc'd to the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute-a social justice law reform organization-who is collecting statement of support for the JBSA so that it can advocate for state-wide initiatives to stop housing displacement and preserve affordable housing. No contact information is being collected so no contact information will be distributed. Please forward this form widely.
To: Boston City CouncilFrom: Residents, Business Owners, and Workers of BostonRe: Statement in Support of the Jim Brooks Stabilization ActDate: March 6, 2017
We the undersigned write to support the Jim Brooks Stabilization Act (JBSA) and call for its swift passage by the Boston City Council. We are property owners, landlords, business owners, tenants, and workers of the City of Boston and we support the JBSA because we support the preservation of affordable housing in Boston and all efforts to curb displacement in the City. Today the Council has the opportunity to take affirmative steps to reaffirm Boston’s place as pioneer in the fight for economically and socially diverse urban communities. We urge you to seize this opportunity and pass the JBSA.
Some of you may be skeptical about the JBSA because of information distributed by the Small Property Owners Association or SPOA. In late February SPOA sent a mailer to every property owner in Boston stating that if the JBSA is passed property taxes would increase, City services would decrease, and that organized tenants would soon control City politics. These claims are outrageous and have nothing to do with the intent of the JBSA, which is to curb displacement of tenants in rental housing and provide tenants and landlords an opportunity to receive information on their rights. SPOA is using misinformation to vilify Boston renters by creating a dynamic that treats the landed as superior to the renter. We do not believe that this is what Boston stands for.
When you hear arguments about the JBSA today remember that under current law landlords in Boston can evict tenants for any reason - or for no reason - at any point in the lease term provided the landlord: (1) gives the tenant proper written notice of intent to evict; (2) files a court complaint against that tenant at the expiration of the notice; and, (3) wins his or her case in court. The JBSA would limit a landlord’s ability to evict only for good causes and would prevent landlords from evicting during the lease term in order to collect more rent; circumvent condo conversion laws under the guise of remodeling; or oust tenants who exercise their legal rights.
For those that will have you believe that the JBSA is bad for landlords who rely on rental income for a livelihood remembers this; the JBSA applies only to landlord that own more than seven rental units, it does not set limits on the amount of rent a landlord my charge, and it does not change the laws on when and how a tenant can withhold rent. The JBSA simply prevents landlords with seven or more units from evicting tenants for no reason and affords tenants and landlords the opportunity to receive information about their rights.
We urge you to pass the JBSA today. Our friends and neighbors in rental housing are not fearsome enemies, but vital members of the community.