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Rutland Associates Defend Section 8 Decision

After 40 years, the group has stopped accepting Section 8 vouchers their South End property.

Rutland Associates will stick to its decision and stop accepting Section 8 housing vouchers. That decision comes in the face of a very public rebuke and push by the Boston City Council to continue accepting the vouchers at the Boston Housing Authority-run Rutland/East Springfield development.

  by name in a June meeting, pushing the group to continue to working with the city and the Housing and Urban Development to continue accepting vouchers.

Rutland Associates General Partner, David Parker explained that a deal had been signed with the government 40 years ago to maintain a low rent portion of properties in the South End. Rutland Associates took over the property 20 years ago, honoring the agreement that had been put forth. After the 40 years were up, the contract allowed for Parker and Rutland Associates to decide if they wanted to take on more vouchers for Section 8 Housing. The vouchers for the development expired on May 31 of this year.

Parker said that he received a letter requesting his presence at the City Council Meeting on that afternoon, but had schedule conflicts.

“I didn’t attend the meeting because I was booked,” Parker said. “It was bad form of the Council to notify us of this meeting the day of it.”

According to Parker, Rutland has met all of its obligations and is entitled to stop accepting the vouchers.

“We have been transparent with our tenants,” Parker said. “ We have met the letter of the law. A deal is a deal and we have done our part, including takingcare of our current tenants.” 

Council urges group to reverse decision

City Councilor Tito Jackson disagrees with the decision. According to Jackson's Communications Director Bennett Wilson, Boston Housing Authority screened tenants who held Section 8 vouchers at the time before the expiration date May 31, 2012, the expiration date for Section 8 Project Based Vouchers.

According to Wilson, those who met eligibility criteria for the Enhanced Voucher Program had the option of accepting one and remaining at Rutland Housing, refusing it and paying higher rents at Mark up to Market rates in their current unit, or taking a tenant based mobile voucher and moving elsewhere. 

According to Wilson, landlords who opt out of a Section 8 project-based voucher contract are required to accept enhanced vouchers. She also said that Jackson had made contact with David and Karen Parker about the hearing held at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in the South End.

"Councillor Jackson then submitted a resolution urging the Parkers to renew the Section 8 project-based vouchers. That day, City Council passed the resolution," Wilson said.  "There isn't anything binding that requires Rutland Housing to do anything. They (City Council) are simply urging its owners to convert the units from Enhanced Vouchers back to Project-based assistance." 

Wilson said that Councillor Jackson is available to meet with the tenants, David Parker and all necessary parties so that they can begin the process of converting enhanced vouchers to project based vouchers, though this meeting has not yet been scheduled.

Timothy Crawford July 02, 2012 at 01:46 PM
40yrs is alot of time to Give into this program, not to mention the up-keep of these units. The owners deserve to enjoy the fruit of their 40 years of service to the SE, Market rent..responsible tenants!
j k01 July 02, 2012 at 04:21 PM
City councillors should be for diversity within apartment houses as well as within neighborhoods. After 40 years, section 8 apartment owners should be able to include market rate housing within their buildings if they have complied during this time with all the rules and kept the property in good repair, as the Parkers have done.
Roy Webb July 02, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but all landlords are required to accept Section 8.
justmaybe July 03, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Tito Jackson is the bully in the school yard. http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/files/Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf
Timothy Crawford July 03, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Roy W., No the owner must pass a inspection (lead ect.) to be approved for sec.8 housing. BHA will ask for a C.O.R.I. and then process a application(1yr or more) before approval! I have more concern with the fact that it takes BHA over a year before their applicants can get in!! Sec.8 is a guarantee that the tax-payers will cover the rent!!

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