After an 18 month campaign, tenants at Concord House, two mid-rise buildings on Tremont Street in Boston’s South End, have won an historic victory saving 171 at-risk homes as permanently affordable housing!
The buildings’ original HUD subsidy contracts ended in 2017. Tenants were set to receive Enhanced Vouchers from HUD, but they would have been replaced by high market tenants when they left. MAHT organized the Concord House Tenants Association, which vowed to seek permanently affordable housing to preserve the South End’s diversity.
In May 2017, the tenants proposal was met with immediate support by the owner, Charlie Gendron of Portland, Maine. Gendron sought and won passage of federal legislation in March 2018, which made feasible the joint tenant/owner proposal to convert Enhanced Vouchers to Project Based Subsidies. This would ensure that future tenants would also be lower income families. HUD required each tenant to agree to convert their Enhanced Voucher to project-based subsidies for the plan to work.
MAHT, the owner, Greater Boston Legal Services and the Boston Housing Authority held several meetings through the fall, including two weeks of intensive door knocking in October. In the end, 171 families signed up to save their homes. HUD approved the plan in December.
“This is a tremendous victory,” comments tenant Marjorie Williams, a 14 year resident and home health care worker. “We’re thrilled that we could strike this blow for neighborhood diversity. When we fight, we win!”
Click here for a great article about the victory in the South End Patch news paper