Winter 2017
Gov. Baker, Mayor Walsh honored at MBHP Ninth Annual Founders Celebration
On October 26, MBHP held our ninth annual Founders Celebration, our annual evening to honor individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond for the cause of affordable housing in Greater Boston. We were very pleased to honor Governor Charlie Baker and City of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for their commitment to affordable housing. Also in attendance were MBHP clients Rodney Johnson, who spoke about his work with our Specialized Intensive Program and Services team, and Christopher Moriconi, who was featured in a video that premiered at the event. The evening raised more than $320,000. Photos from the 2016 Founders Celebration are on our Facebook page.

MBHP Capital Campaign launched
The event also served as the launch for Building on Mission, MBHP's Capital Campaign. The campaign's goal is to raise $2 million toward the development of our new office across the street from the Roxbury Crossing T-stop. In addition to being near the Orange Line and local bus routes, we will have our own visitor parking, which will make getting to our office much easier for clients and owners.

The office space is part of a mixed-use development led by our partner Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services, and members of the community have been involved in every step of planning. The new building will also include a business and a community space, and will help breathe new life into the community. Construction is underway and we anticipate moving in this fall. We are already more than halfway toward our fundraising goal. Learn more at
Inspection Grading Guidelines
MBHP's Inspectional Services team conducts inspections on apartments rented by participants in our programs to ensure they are living in safe, healthy environments. The inspections are also a great opportunity for property owners to identify minor upkeep issues that, if left unattended, could turn into major problems down the road.
As part of the inspection process, inspectors give each apartment a letter grade. Higher grades can mean higher rents.
The grade of the unit is based on a system designed by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Grades range from A, B, C, to D. 
"A" grade units are considered to be of excellent quality.  The unit's interior, exterior and common areas are in excellent condition, newly or recently constructed or rehabbed with high quality materials and workmanship. Appliances and fixtures are owner supplied and are new and are of good quality. Generally "A" grade units have numerous extra amenities that clearly add to the desirability of the unit such as: laundry, kitchen appliances, on site pool, gym or playground, alarm, central air or A/C unit, extra bathroom, handicap accessible, off street parking/garage and on site owner.
"B" grade units are of above-average quality and are generally well maintained The unit is in overall good condition.  Appliances, fixtures and other features are modern and fully functional. Has at least one extra feature that adds to desirability (laundry, kitchen appliances, porch, yard, security system, extra bathroom, extra-large rooms, adequate closets and/or storage). Could otherwise be an "A" unit except for the quality of renovation work and/or the need for more aggressive preventive maintenance by the owner. 
"C" grade units are in average condition, but with normal wear and tear, two or more HQS fail items will likely occur within the inspection pass date and the next annual inspection.

"D" grade units are not brought into the program as they are considered to be in unsatisfactory condition and in need of renovation to be considered safe, decent, and sanitary for lease under the program.

We are here to help you get the best grade possible. Download the complete Inspection Grading Guidelines for details on what qualifies for each grade. 
Visit our website for more details about our inspections process
RAFT helps keep families afloat
Evictions are difficult for everyone involved. For owners, they are long, costly legal battles. For tenants, they can make finding a new apartment very difficult. Fortunately, MBHP has a resource that can assist some people who are in danger of eviction: Residential Assistance for Families in Transition, or RAFT.

Last year, in Boston and the 29 surrounding communities we serve, MBHP distributed $3.6 million in RAFT funding to help more than 1,300 families stay housed. Statewide, more than $10.4 million in RAFT funding were distributed.

RAFT can help qualifying families and individuals pay for rental arrears, first/last month's rent, utilities, child care, moving expenses, and more. RAFT helps families remain stably housed, provides an alternative to entering emergency shelter, and saves Massachusetts money.
Last fall, in partnership with the Regional Housing Network, MBHP released a statewide report on the RAFT program for 2015-16. The report was the first of its kind, building on regional reports released by MBHP in September 2014 and September 2015. The reports will be shared with legislators and other state officials to reinforce the need for continued funding for the RAFT program. Both the statewide and MBHP regional reports are available online .
If you think your tenants could benefit from the RAFT program, please refer them to our website  for more information. They can also contact our Housing Consumer Education Center at [email protected] or 617.425.6700.
Upcoming Workshops
Thursday, February 23, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
This workshop will take place at the Local 51 Union Hall/New England Carpenters Traning Hall, 750 Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA 02125
A panel of experts from the Boston Public Health Commission and the City of Boston's Fire Department will discuss regulations for smoke and CO detectors, fire escapes and means of egress requirements, storage of flammables, emergency lighting, and mitigating asbestos hazards.

Wednesday, March 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Andy Piscatelli, Assistance Director of Leased Housing at MBHP, will present information on the Section 8 Program. This workship is especially helpful to new rental property owners.

Tuesday, March 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Barbara Chandler, MBHP senior advisor on civil rights and fair housing, will discuss the principles and purposes of fair housing law. This workshop will take place at the Chelsea Housing Authority.

Unless otherwise indicated, workshops take place at the MBHP office, 125 Lincoln Street, 5th Floor, Boston, 02111-2503. Register online or by contacting Jennifer Shaw at [email protected].
Ask Jennifer

MBHP Property Owner Resources Manager Jennifer Shaw responds to a frequently asked question.

Dear Jennifer:

My tenant has an unauthorized occupant residing in the unit. What are my rights as a landlord to ask them to leave?

Dear Landlord,

First, be sure the person in question is living in the apartment. In some cultures, it is customary for friends or relatives to visit on a daily basis and cook or conduct other household activities together. Be sure the unauthorized occupant is not, in fact, a frequent guest.

If you are sure that the person is living in the apartment without your permission, a few options are open to you. If you don't mind the additional household member, you can simply ask them to be formally added to the lease. This allows you to screen them like you would any other tenant, gives you their contact information in case of an emergency, and protects you if the original head of household leaves and the unauthorized occupant remains. (Please note: If they are a voucher-holder, the tenant will need to complete the necessary paperwork with MBHP if there is a change in their household.)

If you or the authorized tenant are not open to revising the lease, you can proceed with other measures. You may want to start by discussing the matter with the tenant in person to see if you can arrive at a solution that works for everyone involved (mediation is available from our partner Just-a-Start). If that does not work, you could proceed with a written warning, indicating that you will take further action if the unauthorized tenant is not out of the apartment by a certain date. If it comes to that point and you do decide to evict, start with a 30-day notice to quit for lease violations. Should it come to this step, you may want to obtain legal assistance from an attorney who can walk you through the entire eviction process and assist you with navigating the steps in housing court.

If the tenant has a voucher, you should always inform the program representative of any lease violations. Put your concerns in writing to the tenant and send the program representative a copy. The representative can then follow up with a "warning letter" advising the tenant that they may have violated the programs rules and regulations, which could result in their termination from the program. 


Have a question? Submit your questions for future issues of Owner News to [email protected] .
Seeking affordable apartments

MBHP is helping families move out of motels and into affordable apartments with our Enhanced Funding Program.
This program assists families who are working and, with financial support for the first year, could lease an affordable apartment. MBHP pays most of the rent for the first year.  
MBHP works with these families for 12 months to assist them with resources and services that will enable them to maximize their income during their first year allowing families to  save, and then, be able to sustain the rent going forward.
To insure that the rents are sustainable, we are looking for units in the following ranges:
2 bedroom units at $1,400 - $1,700
3 bedroom units at $1,500 - $1,900
4 bedroom units at $1,900 - $2,100
5 bedroom units at $2,100 - $2,500
If you have vacancies that match these descriptions please contact:
Maura Pensak  [email protected].
Coming soon: Owner Survey
MBHP is always on the lookout for suggestions on how we can better serve you. Be on the lookout for an email in the coming weeks with a link to a new online survey in which you can share your ideas.
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.

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

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