We are very pleased to report the legislature's Joint Committee on Housing has voted, 13-to-2, in support of H.3924, An Act enabling local options for tenant protections, also known as the Tenant Protection Act.
Representatives Mike Connolly and Nika Elugardo, the lead sponsors of the bill, would like to thank Housing Committee Co-Chairs Rep. Kevin Honan and Senator Brendan Crighton for putting the bill up for a vote and recommending that it "ought to pass." The lead sponsors also wish to thank their colleagues on the Housing Committee and the many housing justice advocates and organizes who have worked in partnership with them to advance this bill over the past year.
The Tenant Protection Act would lift the statewide ban on rent control and allow cities and towns to bring everyone to the table — that means renters, owners, and landlords alike — to craft protections for renters that make sense on the local level. The bill was heard before the Joint Committee on Housing on January 14, when several hundred tenants, advocates, municipal officials, and housing justice organizers showed up in strong support. Rep. Connolly's testimony in support of the bill is available here.
The legislation will now move to either the House Committee on Steering, Policy, and Scheduling or the House Committee on Ways and Means, which is the next step in the legislative process. To our knowledge, this is the first time in decades that a bill to lift the statewide ban on rent control has been reported favorably out of committee on Beacon Hill.
This post will be updated as additional information becomes available.