Owner News Spring PM Page Owner News Lincoln Street Boston by eddie21


									Owner News Spring 05     4/19/05     3:11 PM     Page 1

        Owner News
        125 Lincoln Street • Boston, MA 02111 • 617-859-0400 • Fax 617-426-4256 • www.mbhp.org
                                                                                                                  a publication of
                                                                                                                  Metropolitan Boston
                                                                                                                  Housing Partnership
                                                                                                                  Spring 2005

        Fair Market Rent
        (FMR) Reduction                                     MBHP and Partners Advocate for Housing
                                                                   s part of an ongoing effort to encourage government officials

               he U.S. Department of Housing
               and Urban Development
               (HUD) implemented its annual
        FMRs effective October 1, 2004. The
                                                            A      to reinvest in housing for extremely low-income households,
                                                                   MBHP, other housing and service providers, and several
                                                            statewide organizations have developed a statement reflecting a
                                                            shared philosophy that we use in our advocacy efforts.
        new FMRs, especially in larger size
        units, have been dramatically reduced:
                                                            Joint Vision Statement
        Fair Market Rents (including all utilities)
                                                            We believe that ending and preventing homelessness is possible. With
                            2003           2004
                                                            affordable rents, flexible funds for securing housing and connections
        2 Bedroom           $1,419         $1,266
        3 Bedroom           $1,775         $1,513
                                                            to community supports, we have found that anyone—even those con-
        4 Bedroom           $2,084         $1,676           sidered chronically homeless—can be successfully housed. For this
                                                            reason, we believe that state and federal funds should be targeted to
             HUD requires housing agencies                  producing, preserving, and ensuring access to affordable housing, and
        to review rents for all existing units              providing cost-effective health care and supportive services necessary
        when there is a 5% or greater                       to stabilize tenancies.
        decrease in the published FMRs.                          Unfortunately, the current housing and service delivery system
             MBHP payment standards are                     fails to meet the needs of extremely poor people, and therefore
        based on current FMRs as published                  requires us to rely on emergency shelters for basic health and safety.
        by HUD each October. In October                     The state will realize savings only by making a significant investment
        2003, MBHP’s payment standards                      in housing. In the meantime, not investing in both housing and shelter
        were 105% of the FMR. In August                     will result in growing economic and human costs.
        2004 payment standards were reduced
        to 100% of the FMR. In October 2004,                                           Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association
        due to the significant reduction in the                                         Committee to End Elder Homelessness
        FMR’s, payment standards were                                                  Homes for Families
        increased to 110% of the FMR.                                                  HomeStart
        Payment Standards (including all utilities)                                    Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
                            2003           2004                                        Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance
        2 Bedroom           $1,489         $1,392                                      Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
        3 Bedroom           $1,863         $1,664                                      Massachusetts Nonprofit Housing Association
        4 Bedroom           $2,188         $1,844                                      Pine Street Inn
             Due to the declining rental                                               Project Hope
        market and the increase in vacancy                                             Women’s Lunch Place
        rates, MBHP may be required to
        reduce rents for some units in which                Help communicate the need for safe, affordable housing to your repre-
        the rents are in excess of rent reason-             sentatives. For more information, contact Mary Doyle, Director of Policy
        ableness guidelines. To assist in                   and Program Development at 617-425-6694.
        determining reasonable rents, MBHP
        maintains a database that includes
        extensive updated rent amounts for                contract with MBHP. These units will      age amenities, and whether on-site
        unassisted market units.                          be compared to similar units in the       maintenance or utilities are provided
             Beginning with the September 1,              private, unassisted rental market. In     by the property owner.
        2005 annual re-certifications, MBHP                order to determine comparable rents,           Additional information in regard
        will be evaluating the rent reason-               we consider the condition/grade of        to MBHP’s rent determination will be
        ableness of all existing units under              the unit, location, size, housing type,   available in the coming months.  2
Owner News Spring 05   4/19/05    3:11 PM    Page 2

        Lead Paint Removal                            May Landlord
                                                                                                 Stay Connected
        & Rehab Assistance                            Workshop: Property                         Visit us at www.mbhp.org
                oston property owners—                Owner Resources                            to join our free e-mail

        B       protect your children, grand-
                children and tenants from lead
        poisoning, a disease that is especially
                                                      Presented by:
                                                      • Boston Building Materials Coop
                                                      • Boston Department of
                                                                                                 list. Once you’ve
                                                                                                 signed up, you’ll
                                                                                                 receive regular
                                                                                                 updates about:
        harmful to young children and can
        cause permanent damage to their                 Neighborhood Development—
        brain and nervous systems. About                Lead Safe Program                        • MBHP workshops
        80% of the homes in Boston built              • Appleby & Wyman                            and special events
        before 1978 contain lead paint. You             Insurance Agency                         • Program News
        can afford to make your home or                                                          • Services for property owners
        income property lead safe with help           Each will speak for 15-20 minutes
        from the City of Boston’s Lead Safe           about its products and services.           • And more!
        Boston (LSB) program. To qualify for          Attendees will then have an
        assistance, owner-occupants or ten-           opportunity to meet one-on-one
        ants of investor-owners must meet             with the speakers.                     ASK A LAWYER*
        income guidelines of up to:
        • $52,950 for a 1-2 person household          Wednesday, May 11, 2005                Dear Lawyer Leslie:
        • $66,150 for a 3-4 person household
        • $76,750 for a 5+ person household
              LSB offers conditional grants up
                                                      6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at MBHP
                                                      125 Lincoln Street, Boston, 5th floor   I  have heard that the tenant’s
                                                                                                security deposit needs to be in
                                                                                             a special bank account. I want to
        to $10,000 for each household made            Space is limited. Reservations are     follow the law regarding my tenant’s
        lead safe.                                    required. Contact 617-425-6704 or      security deposit. What type of bank
              The conditions of the program are:      info@mbhp.org.  2                      account do I need?
        • No repayment is necessary if you                                                                 Signed, Wanna Do Right
           don’t refinance within five years
           after receiving the grant.                                                        Dear Wanna Do Right:
        • Repayment is required in full upon                                                      ou are correct. Within thirty days
           sale, transfer or certain refinancing
           of property before five-year period.
                                                                                             Y    of receipt you need to put your
                                                                                             tenant’s security deposit in an
        • At turnover or vacancy, rental prior-                                              account that is protected from your
           ity must be given to income-eligible                                              creditors. You are holding the ten-
           tenants with a child under age six.                                               ant’s security deposit “in trust” with a
        • Affordability must be maintained                                                   possibility that you will have the right
           for five years.                                                                    to use the money for unpaid rent or
              To learn more about the program,          A QUIZ QUESTION:                     damage at the end of the tenancy.
        contact Lead Safe Boston directly at                                                 Until that time, the money belongs to
                                                        From Judith White, MBHP’s
        617-635-0190 or visit their website—                                                 the tenant. Ask your bank to set up a
                                                        Development Manager
        www.bostonhomecenter.com, key-                                                       “trust” or “escrow” account. Name it
        word: Lead Safe.                                In 2004, how many children           something like “Sally Tenant’s
              For Boston homeowners looking             did MBHP’s rental assistance         Security Deposit Account” or “Mary
        to remodel this spring, check out the           programs serve?                      Landlord for Sally Tenant Account.”
        financial and technical assistance                    For the answer, see our                            —Leslie C. Sammon
        offered through the Boston Home-                website—www.mbhp.org. Click          Adams & Sammon, 295 Devonshire St.
        Works program at 617-635-0600 or                on “Support Affordable                     Boston, MA 02110, 617-451-7241
        visit their website—www.boston-                 Housing.”
        homecenter.com, keyword: Boston                      While you’re on that page:      *Beginning with this issue, we will
                                                        • Learn what you can do to
        HomeWorks.     2                                  improve the lives of MBHP’s
                                                                                             include one question from a proper-
                                                                                             ty owner in our “Ask a Lawyer”
        Contributed by Diane Marchioni,                   children.                          column.To submit a question for
        Senior Program Manager, City of                 • Discover new online dona-          the next issue, e-mail info@mbhp.org.
        Boston, Department of Neighbor-                   tion possibilities.                Subject line: Ask a Lawyer for
        hood Development                                                                     Owner News    2

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