Reis in the News
By Jenifer McKim and Alejandro Serrano
Source: The Boston Globe – As rents soar in Boston, low-income tenants try to stave off eviction
THE THURSDAY VIBE at the sprawling Edward W. Brooke Courthouse on New Chardon Street in downtown Boston has a jittery, jagged edge to it. Thursday is trial day for eviction cases at Eastern Housing Court, where landlords and tenants from Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, and eight other cities and towns square off. The busy hallway outside Courtroom 10 looks like an anxiety fair, with attorneys from legal aid clinics at tables surrounded by tenants with the desperate air of people who know that they might soon find themselves homeless.
Among these is Jerome Stanley, a 64-year-old Boston school bus driver, who is trying to stay in the two-bedroom Roxbury apartment he’s lived in for 27 years. Stanley’s dressed in a leather jacket, his gray hair pulled back into a ponytail. He’s here because he got a notice that movers were coming to pack up his stuff, even though he’d appealed his original eviction order. His new landlords wanted to raise his rent by nearly 70 percent, and even with the Section 8 subsidy he receives via the city, it’s an impossible jump for a man who makes less than $40,000 a year.
Stanley argues, for starters, that the landlords are breaking his lease terms early. But he tried this argument in housing court earlier in the year and lost, and also had a reconsideration claim denied. He appealed the judge’s ruling and thinks he can’t be evicted until the court has heard him.