December 5, 2023

Actual Property

After his hire management poll initiative fell brief, state Rep. Mike Connolly is shifting his focus to a number of landlord-tenant payments at present earlier than the Legislature.

State Rep. Mike Connolly and his supporters collect in entrance of the State Home after he acquired discover that his petition to raise the statewide ban on hire management was licensed by Lawyer Common Andrea Campbell. Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe Workers, File

With tens of 1000’s of signatures nonetheless wanted and fewer than two weeks to go, hire management proponents have suspended their marketing campaign for a 2024 poll query that might have revived local-option hire management in Massachusetts. 

State Rep. Mike Connolly introduced Friday that the initiative garnered 10,175 signatures over the previous six weeks — a far cry from the almost 75,000 signatures wanted earlier than the Nov. 22 deadline. 

“Whereas this isn’t the result we hoped for with our petition, I’m extra assured than ever that if given the chance to take action, Massachusetts voters will elect to raise the ban on hire management,” the Cambridge Democrat stated in a press release. 

The poll query marketing campaign confronted opposition from the true property trade and from different housing advocates and progressive teams, who had been divided on the very best path ahead for hire management, in response to Connolly. 

He particularly cited Properties for All Massachusetts — a coalition of housing justice advocates — and stated the group’s leaders “maintained that hire management can’t win on the poll field in 2024, and so they publicly demanded that we withdraw our petition.”

But Properties for All Massachusetts Director Carolyn Chou instructed The Boston Globe that her coalition nonetheless helps hire management efforts statewide, whether or not that’s via laws or a poll query after 2024.

“We’re dedicated to profitable hire management within the subsequent few years,” Chou instructed the Globe. “To us, which means persevering with to place the legislative technique via this session, and if wanted, subsequent session — and if we are able to’t win on the Legislature this time, to have the poll initiative as a part of that technique.”

Lease management opponents, in the meantime, celebrated the tip of Connolly’s poll query marketing campaign. 

In a statement posted to the social media platform X, the conservative group Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance described the poll query as a “disastrous thought” and asserted that it “would have completed nothing however make life costlier & depressing for property house owners & renters alike.”

Lease management initiatives statewide have additionally confronted sturdy pushback from actual property teams like MassLandlords, Inc., which sued the Metropolis of Boston earlier this yr over emails associated to Mayor Michelle Wu’s hire stabilization proposal. 

But as Connolly identified in his assertion, a number of polls have proven Massachusetts voters’ eagerness so as to add an area possibility for hire management amid eye-watering rents and skyrocketing housing costs. 

At this level, the lawmaker stated he’s shifting his focus to hire management payments and different landlord-tenant issues at present earlier than the Massachusetts Legislature.

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing is ready to sort out a number of housing petitions on Tuesday, together with the Tenant Safety Act — a hire management invoice that served because the mannequin for the 2024 poll initiative — and two payments that might enable communities to cap annual hire will increase and require landlords to have simply trigger for evicting a tenant or not renewing a lease. Properties for All Massachusetts stated it plans to carry a press convention in entrance of the State Home at 10 a.m. Tuesday to assist the latter two payments. 

Taking to X on Saturday, Connolly thanked the volunteers, elected officers, and staffers who helped push for the hire management poll query. 

“I’m pleased with the work we did with the sources we had,” he wrote. “Now, the legislature should act.”