Boston, MA

Housing advocates share tactics to fight foreclosure

August 21, 2008
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, the federal law that prohibits housing discrimination, local government officials and activists gathered last week for a forum designed to help endangered residents save their homes.
     The rising tide of foreclosures has shaken the nation’s economy and left many homeowners nervous about their financial futures. Communities of color, frequently targeted by predatory lenders and victimized by discriminatory housing practices, have experienced a particularly strong backlash.
     At the information session, held last Thursday at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury, Michael D. Mitchell of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) said that Boston is in a better position to deal the housing crisis due to its strong coalition of agencies and grassroots organizations working on behalf of the community, including the Boston regional office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Boston Fair Housing Commission.

Twice the victim

July 11, 2008
When she believed that her landlord had discriminated against her, Indralakshmi Din-Dayal got her day in court. Whether she was on the receiving end of justice is a far more complicated question.
     "It was victimizing, disrespectful, and illogical," she says of her experience with the Massachusetts court system. "Nobody listened. I was not protected by even the most rudimentary sense of fairness."
     Her lawyer, Mark D. Stern, is even blunter: "I cannot be silent in a society where this kind of thing can happen."
     Last month, Din-Dayal lost a three-year battle against her landlord when the Supreme Judicial Court declined, for the second time, to hear her case alleging illegal discrimination and retaliation.

Beacon Hill broker settles discrimination claim

March 06, 2008
The office of Attorney General Martha Coakley said it obtained a judgment against Beacon Hill real estate broker Thomas Dooley III and his company, which does business as Louisburg Properties, that resolves claims of discrimination.
     According to a complaint filed in late 2006, Dooley allegedly rejected a prospective tenant who responded to an ad for a Beacon Hill apartment because he held a Section 8 housing voucher; under state law, it is illegal to discriminate against housing applicants because they receive public assistance, Coakley's office said.

Court: landlord cannot deny tenant despite 'harmful' lease clause

November 26, 2007
A property-management company should not have refused to rent to a potential tenant in a subsidized housing program, even where a termination provision in the program's lease might put an economic burden on the landlord, the Supreme Judicial Court has found.
     The company argued that the Department of Housing and Community Development had no authority to require a landlord to use the program's lease, which contained the termination clause, because the statute creating the program did not mandate a particular form of lease.
     A Superior Court judge had earlier ruled that the termination provision in the program's lease was not a "requirement" of the program. Even if it was, the judge found that the defendant company did not violate G.L.c. 151B because it had legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for rejecting the plaintiff participant.
     But the SJC reversed.
     "We conclude that the lease termination provision at issue was a 'requirement' of the [subsidy] program," wrote Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall for the court. "We further conclude that, where the Legislature has exercised its authority to set the balance between the protection of landlords' interests and the need for affordable housing, the defendants' refusal to agree to the provision violated the strictures of [Chapter 151B]."

Study shows high rate of anti-gay bias crimes

July 02, 2007
A new study from the University of California shows that anti-gay bias crimes have been committed against about four out of ten gays, and one out of eight lesbians, in the U.S.
     The story, posted Friday by Gay365.com, quoted the study’s author, Gregory Herek, as saying, "This is the most reliable estimate to date of the prevalence of anti-gay victimization in the United States."

Study shows high rate of anti-gay bias crimes

June 02, 2007
A new study from the University of California shows that anti-gay bias crimes have been committed against about four out of ten gays, and one out of eight lesbians, in the U.S.
     The story, posted Friday by Gay365.com, quoted the study’s author, Gregory Herek, as saying, "This is the most reliable estimate to date of the prevalence of anti-gay victimization in the United States."

Housing group takes protest of apartment size to state

March 08, 2007
A local housing group is taking the unusual step of asking the state to rule that a proposed apartment complex in Belmont violates fair-housing laws because of what it calls an attempt to "child-proof" the project.
     The Belmont Housing Trust last week petitioned the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination to conclude that the Belmont Uplands plan lacks enough rentals for families with children. Under the plan, 16 of the 299 units will have three bedrooms, while the rest will have one or two.

Lawsuit questions gay roommate preference

January 30, 2007
Everyone knows finding a roommate is an exercise in futility-when it’s not a real-live reality show, "Weirdoes of the World." In New York especially, where rents have reached "the exosphere," finding a roommate is a not-so-small cottage industry.
     That’s why a recent case in California’s Ninth Circuit Court in Pasadena is raising eyebrows. The case brings up a host of issues about stating specific preferencing in roommate ads, not least of which is sexual orientation.

Is building housing for gay and lesbian couples discrimination?

December 18, 2006
Plans to develop condominium complexes marketed to older gay and lesbian couples are drawing howls of protest from some people in Massachusetts who say local government is guilty of having a double standard.
     State representative Brian Wallace of south Boston tells The Boston Herald city officials up to now have refused to allow developers to build seniors-only facilities because of fair housing laws. And the head of a Boston real estate group says the idea of marketing exclusively to gays is "a bit much" — and points to the uproar that would result if the condos were "just for heterosexual people, or Muslims, or Jews or Catholics."

Gay condo controversy

December 17, 2006
The Bay State, the birthplace of gay marriage, is on the cusp of another revolution in alternative living that could prove to be just as controversial - gay condo communities.
      Developers across the country are drawing up plans for condo projects - and sometimes even whole communities - targeted at gay and lesbian buyers. And Massachusetts is proving to be a fertile laboratory for this experiment.
      Two planned developments on either end of the state, the Stonewall at Audubon Circle in the Fenway and Paradise One in Easthampton, are pioneering condo complexes marketed to older gay and lesbian residents.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Boston, MA