Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Today’s episode: State: LHA must release Sec. 8 list
LOWELL — The Secretary of State’s Public Records Division has determined the Lowell Housing Authority did not comply with the state’s public-records law when it denied The Sun’s request for a list of property owners with multiple Section 8 voucher tenants.
In an Aug. 8 letter to LHA Assistant Executive Director Mary Ann Maciejewski, the state’s supervisor of records, Shawn Williams, wrote that any responsive record identifying property owners with multiple Section 8 tenants is public record and must be provided to The Sun.
As of early April, there were nearly 1,250 tenants in the city with Section 8 housing vouchers from the LHA.
LHA provides tenant-based and project-based vouchers to those eligible for the Section 8 program.
Those with tenant-based vouchers can choose to live in any private housing unit that meets the requirement of the program. As of early April, the LHA provided 1,116 of those vouchers to participants.
Project-based Section 8 vouchers can only be used at designated properties. The LHA subsidized the rents of 120 project-based participants as of early April.
I’d like to see this list of landlords. How many live outside of Lowell? We spend a ton of energy griping about city officials that live outside of Lowell. Should we get a handle on “absentee landlords?” This list would help with that. Also, how often are the rental units inspected? By whom? Let’s protect those living in these units by ensuring that everything is on the up and up. Transparency will help. Disclose the list now.
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