The Forbes Building Tenants Association is holding a rally on Saturday to stop the possible displacement of more than 150 residents who are mostly low-income seniors and disabled persons.
Forbes tenants preparing for the rally + press conference this Saturday!! Forbes = 147 unit bldg at 545 Centre St JP, mostly low-income seniors, persons w disabilities. Owner hasn’t followed thru on renewing subsidy contracts long-term; will expire soon (1/2) #bospoli pic.twitter.com/X4r1X6ZOcw
— MAHT (@MAHT_hudtenants) June 10, 2021
What's at stake is at least 85 apartments of which the association believed were being preserved for low-income renters for at least 20 years in the Forbes Building located at 545 Centre St through the 13A program. Thirty-seven of the units were to be preserved through the state's Mass Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), and 48 apartments through Project Based Vouchers (PBVs) from the Boston Housing Authority (BHA). There are 147 units in the building.
But the owner of the building has not agreed to preserve those apartments said city officials.
The BHA administers an active MRVP contract at the site and BHA offered a Section 8 PBV contract to preserve affordability in other expiring 13A units, but that offer has not been accepted by the owner, said a BHA spokesperson to Jamaica Plain News. In the 1970s, 4,200 low- and middle-income apartments throughout Massachusetts were financed by the state's Section 13A program, but the 40 year 13A mortgages are expiring, and so does the program that keep rents affordable, according to Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants. Rents can also be increased with the expiration of 13A, but is limited to to the consumer price index. That could result in a 5 to 6 percent increase in 2022.
Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) has been working with the owner to preserve affordability and ensure stability for the residents. The city is continuing to speak with the property owner and are willing to negotiate to ensure the long term preservation of the units, said a DND spokesperson.
The rally will be outside of the building at 11 am.