Since 1983, the Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants (MAHT) has helped tenants save more than 12,200 apartments as affordable housing through tenant organizing, one building at a time. The only statewide union of HUD tenants, MAHT has led the fight for legislation to save “expiring use” HUD housing.
Despite our efforts, since 1996 Massachusetts has lost 8,637 subsidized apartments as owners converted to high market rents. 14,231 more remain at risk through 2019, according to the state’s Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). A new crisis in state Chapter 13A “expiring mortgage” buildings threatens 4,200 families with displacement and loss of housing in the next several years.
In 2009, the legislature adopted Chapter 40T, which provided important tools to address this crisis, notably a Right of First Refusal in the event of a sale. However, some owners are not selling, but simply converting their buildings to market rents, and thus escaping the regulatory tools of 40T.
Since the passage of 40T, owners have converted more than 2,747 units to high market rents in Plymouth, Brockton, Taunton, Worcester, Weymouth, Adams, Lawrence, Stoughton and Boston, including Burbank Apartments in the Fenway and Rutland Housing in the South End. The rate of loss since 1996 has actually accelerated since the passage of 40T, and will speed up more with the Chapter 13A crisis.