Spring 2016
 MBHP celebrates the property owner

On March 15, 2016, MBHP held our fourteenth annual evening of gratitude toward all the property owners who provide housing for MBHP program participants and celebration of several who have gone above and beyond for them. The keynote speaker was Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. The evening's honorees included Kinross Real Estate in Brighton and Brian Loomer of Heritgage at Bedford Springs.

New Lease for Homeless Families

Also honored at the event were the property owners who have housed MBHP participants who were formerly placed in emergency shelter motels in our region through the New Lease for Homeless Families program. New Lease for Homeless Families is an innovative collaboration between affordable housing developers, social service providers, and government entities that works to reduce homelessness by targeting affordable homes to families in Massachusetts's emergency shelter system. Thanks to the cooperation and commitment of the participating property owners, New Lease has housed more than 180 families statewide. MBHP was pleased to recognize the following at our event: Beacon Communities, LLC; Codman Square NDC; Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation; Peabody Properties, Inc.; Preservation of Affordable Housing; The Community Builders; Urban Edge; and WinnCompanies. Learn more about New Lease for Homeless Families

More photos from the event are on our Facebook photo album.
Change in policy for requesting rent increases
A letter was sent out last week from MBHP to all property owners whose tenants are participants in MBHP's Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program, regarding a clarification from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development of the policy for requesting rent increases. This policy applies to property owners who are currently using the "Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Model Dwelling Lease" provided by MBHP.

Please note that this only impacts the participants of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.  If you currently have any tenants who are participants in MBHP's other Leased Housing Programs (e.g., Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, Continuum of Care program), they are not impacted by this guidance but may have other regulations that govern the rent increase process.

Below are some questions and answers to help you understand this policy.
Q: What is the process for rent increase requests?
A: If you are using the Section 8 Model Dwelling Lease, property owners must submit a written request for an increase at least 60 days (two calendar months) prior to the Lease Renewal date on which the increase will take effect. Requests must be submitted in writing to the appropriate MBHP Program Representative. An increase will be approved ONLY for the lease renewal date.
Q: Do I need to notify the tenant of the proposed increase?
A: Yes. At the same time that the owner submits the request to MBHP, they must also give written notice to the tenant.
Q: How much of an increase can I ask for, and will it be approved?
A: Any new rent amount that is requested and/or approved must be "reasonable" in comparison with rents of similar units in the private, unassisted (non-subsidized) rental market. Criteria guidelines include, but are not limited to: condition and rating of unit, location (neighborhood), bedroom size, amenities available, renovations. The full amount of the increase requested may or may not be approved.
Q: How will a rent increase affect the tenant?
A: If a rent increase is approved, the tenant's share may go up and may affect the tenant's ability to pay their portion.
Q: When will an approved rent increase take effect?
A: If you are using the Section 8 Model Dwelling Lease, the increase will not take effect until at least two full calendar months have passed since the date the request was received by MBHP, and will not take effect until the lease renewal date. For example, if an increase request was received by MBHP in January, and the lease renews April 1, the increase would not take effect until April 1. If the request for an increase is received in March, and the lease renews April 1, the increase could not take effect until April 1 of the following year, since the request has to be submitted at least 60 days prior to the lease renewal date.
Q: Are there any special requirements in regard to inspections for rent increases?
A: Yes, rent increases will not be approved until any failed items identified by the most recent HQS inspection have been corrected.
Q: What is the difference between the Lease Renewal date and the Annual Inspection date?
A: The Lease Renewal date is the date the Lease agreement and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract is entered into. This date will stay the same until the Lease is terminated. The Annual Inspection date is based on the last full HQS Inspection regardless if the unit passed or failed inspection. Because HUD requires a full inspection be conducted annually and/or biennially, the date of the next annual or biennial inspection will change from year to year.
If you have any questions, please consult your letter or contact your tenant's MBHP program representative. A list of contact information for Section 8 program representatives is available on our website.
Mark your calendar for the 2016 Marathon Celebration!

On April 18, five volunteers will compete in the Boston Marathon on behalf of MBHP. As they train, they are also raising funds to support our work. Each runner has a personal goal of at least $5,000. To thank them, and their donors, we will be holding a free event at District Hall (in the Seaport District) on Thursday, May 5, 2016. If you would like to join us, let us know by registering online.

Learn more about our runners and help them reach their goal at  https://www.crowdrise.com/MBHP2016/
A message from the Boston Public Health Commission

Ask Jennifer

Jennifer Shaw, MBHP's Property Owner Resource Manager, is here to answer your

Dear Jennifer,
Through one of your programs, I receive payment directly from MBHP. When can I expect to receive payment?

MBHP processes payments to property owners and tenants on the first and the fifteenth of every month. Payments may take a day or two to reflect in your account or to be received by mail. Property owners are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit if they are currently receiving a paper check. The direct deposit enrollment form can be found on our website. 

If you would like to know if you received payment or a breakdown of payment please log onto the owner portal website at:
Website:              https://www.portal.mbhp.org
Username:          T12345*
Password:           last 4 digits of your SSN/Tax ID
*If you don't know your 't-number' send an email to portalhelp@mbhp.org with the property owner name and last 4 digits of the SSN/Tax ID and your login information will be sent back via email.
If you have not received your payment and would like further information, you can contact the MBHP contact person for your tenant.  The MBHP contact's name and contact information can be found on the last rent share letter you received from MBHP.  If you do not have the last rent share letter, please call the main MBHP line at 617.859.0400 and provide your tenant's name and address and ask to be transferred directly to the appropriate MBHP staff member. 


Have a question? Submit your questions to jennifer.shaw@mbhp.org.
Have you signed up for direct deposit?

Get your payments from MBHP deposited directly into your bank account. It's safe, quick, and easy to enroll! Complete the Direct Deposit Enrollment Form and submit it, along with a voided personal check, to: Jennipher Moore, MBHP, 125 Lincoln Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111-2503.

Upcoming workshops for property owners

Tuesday, April 5, 6-8 p.m.
At this session Attorney Greenman will discuss:
  • Owner rights and responsibilities.
  • Handling security deposits.
  • Different types of leases and how to deal with lease violations.
  • The eviction process.
Lead Paint Workshop & Panel Discussion for Owners, Managers, and Inspectors
Tuesday, May 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Co-sponsored by the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and the City of Boston's Inspectional Services Department (ISD).
Please note: This session will be held at the Local 12 Plumbers Union Hall at 1240 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston
This workshop will be a moderated panel discussion with various lead paint experts covering the following topics:
  • Owner obligations and fair housing.
  • Deleading Resources (for Boston property owners).
  • Lead Inspections.
  • Lead Documentation.
  • Renovate Right.
Fair Housing for Property Owners
Tuesday, May 24, 6-8 p.m.
At this session, Barbara Chandler, Senior Advisor on Civil Rights & Fair Housing, will discuss the principles and purposes of fair housing law. Learn about your fair housing responsibilities as a property owner regarding:
  • Tenant screening and selection.
  • Reasonable accommodation.
  • The deleading process.
  • Day-to-day operations.

Register online or contact Jennifer Shaw  at jennifer.shaw@mbhp.org or 617.425.6637.
G ot vacancies?
MBHP has families with newly-issued Massachusetts Rental Vouchers and Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers who are actively seeking apartments to rent. Prospective tenants are seeking 1-5 bedroom units throughout Metro Boston.

If you have apartments to rent, visit our website to list them using our free online service.
MBHP offers support and resources for property owners

MBHP is successful because of our supporters. Help us continue to offer programs and services to tenants and property owners  by making a donation to advance our mission of helping families and individuals find and retain a safe, affordable place to live. You can make your tax-deductible donation using our secure online donation page! Visit www.mbhp.org/donate

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
125 Lincoln St., 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111-2503
617.859.0400 | toll free (MA only): 800.272.0990