September 14, 2013
Successful Rally! Now watch us in the news
Watch Channel 4 news and Globe and Herald tomorrow
We had a number of reporters and camera men at the protest rally in front of Boston City Hall today — so the word is going to get out even better yet.Watch Channel 4, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald.
Regarding the recent deck collapse in Boston, the city has two choices. No. 1: Find the dangerous decks in the city in one year. No. 2: Find the dangerous decks in five to ten years.
The choice is obvious. The new registration and inspection program will be incredibly slow because it has to inspect many, many completely safe units in order to find the few seriously unsafe units. SPOA proposes that the city establish as “Housing Safety Swat Team” to target inspections to the seriously deficient properties. It is not hard to identify these properties by exterior inspections alone. Finding those dangerous decks and other serious dangers can be done in a year with this Swat Team..
We need to have a HUGE turnout now for the rescheduled City Council hearing next Monday, September 23, at 11:00 a.m. in the City Council Iannella Chamber, Fifth Floor, Boston City Hall.
Talk to all your friends, family and neighbors. Get them all to come to the hearing. They count also.
We will succeed ONLY if all of you talk to your friends, family and neighbors and get them to this hearing.
Forward this email to as many as possible.
No signs are allowed.
But above all, our numbers count! Get everyone to come!
And we need to keep up the pressure on the Council. So keep doing your calls and emails to City Councilors! We need to hit on every front.
A full article on the present situation is posted on the SPOA website homepage: www.spoa.com. All contact information is there as well as here below. PASS ON THE LINK FOR THE SPOA WEBSITE to your friends, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Urge everyone to call City Hall (Mayor and Councilors).
Keep up the good work!
Will miss the units the city most wants to catch.
Will raise rents.
Unconstitutional. We all have a right to privacy in our homes, including our tenants’ homes. Government inspectors entering our homes with no reasonable suspicion of violations are illegal under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and a similar right in the Massachusetts Constitution.
Grossly ineffective and wasteful. Even if the inspections were constitutional, the truly unsafe units will not be registered.
And even if they are registered, there is no way in the registration system to be able to identify them, which should be the focus of the city’s concern.
Will miss unsafe units. About 50% of units have been registered so far. During debate the city said it expected no more than 70% registration. Either way, the most seriously deficient units will not be registered, the units that the Menino administration said were the prime reason for the inspections. As a result, inspectors will waste enormous amounts of time and money inspecting apartments the vast majority of which have at most a few cosmetic or minor violations while ignoring the few truly unsafe properties.
Won’t identify the unsafe units. Even with 100% registration, the new program does not identify unsafe properties. All that will happen is that an inspection may take place sometime in the next five years, hardly a way to catch unsafe properties like the one in Allston that had a fire last spring and killed a 22-year-old Boston University student. Unsafe properties need to be identified and inspected as fast as possible. That is how a proper inspection program should be run.
Registration and fees alone are unconstitutional. Registration and fees – every year – imply that we have no right to rent out our properties. We are being forced to pay the city to get permission to be a landlord. The Constitution, not the city, gives us the right to buy, sell and rent out our private property. Registration and fees together threaten our livelihood and drive rents up in the process. It will not be worth it to rent out our properties unless the rents go up to cover the added risk.
To register and to pay a fee is exactly the way it is to get a license from the government in order to run a business.The Institute for Justice has successfully fought licensing programs in other occupations. Licensing is on the horizon if this program gets into power.
Will raise rents. Especially on the poor. Many tenants trade cosmetic and minor violations for lower rent. Indeed, the Mayor’s one-size-fits-all program to bring all rental units “up to code” will push rents up everywhere, causing most harm to tenants in lower-income neighborhoods where minor violations are more numerous. Poorer owners and poorer tenants will suffer most.
A much better approach. There are far better ways to target problem properties. Serious exterior violations seen from the street can identify buildings that likely have serious interior violations. The complaint record of ISD can be used to target deficient properties. Pursued vigorously, these approaches will catch the seriously deficient apartments.
In addition, the ISD housing division needs to be reformed. It is presently biased against landlords, pursues cosmetic violations, does not prioritize violations in terms of danger to health and safety, does not return calls from landlords, gives legal advice to tenants. The list goes on and on.
|Be sure to attend the hearing on Monday, September 23. But also call your City Councilors!|
Tell them you protest the registration and inspection program
We can win this! And only we can do it.Send your emails to City.Council@cityofboston.gov. This email address goes to all City Councilors.
You need to call your own District Councilor as well as all four At-Large Councilors, who all represent the whole city. The At-Large Councilors are at the top of the list below.
Here are Councilors’ phone numbers.
Stephen Murphy, President, At Large, 617-635-4376
Felix Arroyo, At Large, 617-635-4205
John Connolly, At Large, 617-635-3115
Ayanna Pressley, At Large, 617635-4217
Salvatore LaMattina, District 1, 617-635-3200
Bill Linehan, District 2, 617-635-3203
Frank Baker, District 3, 617-635-3455
Charles Yancey, District 4, 617-635-3131
Robert Consalvo, District 5, 17-635-4210
Matt O’Malley, District 6, 617-635-4220
Tito Jackson, District 7, 617-635-3510
Michael Ross, District 8, 617-635-4225
Mark Ciommo, District 9, 617-635-3113
Call your own Councilor first. Then email to all the councilors using the email address above. One message goes to all the councilors.
|CALL AND EMAIL NOW!|
THIS IS URGENT. WE HAVE A CHANCE OF WINNING.
|Contact Informationemail: firstname.lastname@example.org