Posted: Friday, July 27, 2018 – 4:35 PM
By Victoria Talbot
Three Facilitated Dialogue Sessions have been scheduled for the Rent Stabilization Ordinance at Roxbury Park. The sessions are set for Saturday, Aug. 11, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Wednesday, August 15, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; and Saturday, Aug. 25, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Unfortunately, the issues being discussed on Saturdays are critical to the welfare of many apartment residents who will be unable to attend for religious reasons.
The first (Saturday, Aug. 11) of the dialogues is scheduled to discuss Relocation Fees, No Just-Cause Evictions, the Ellis Act and Habitability Standards.
The second (Wednesday, Aug. 15) is set to discuss Banking Allowable Annual Rent Increases, RSO Exemptions for properties with four units or less; and Landlord Rent Adjustment Application.
The third scheduled dialogue (Saturday, Aug. 25) is scheduled to discuss Maximum Annual Rent Increases.
No other facilitated discussions are currently scheduled.
These discussions are to be facilitated with the help of Professor Sukhsimranjit Singh, who gained the trust of both landlords and tenants during discussion last summer.
The Courier has already heard from residents that are unable to attend on Saturdays because they observe the Sabbath. The issue was addressed last year by holding meetings at other times; many local residents are observant Jews who cannot attend. In addition, the ads placed in the Courier were not translated into Farsi, a courtesy that was requested many times from residents who do not read or speak English.
The ad in the Courier actually encourages attendance, despite the scheduling faux pas. “Please note, your attendance to these facilitated meetings is very important to allow for discussion and input. The information collected by HR&A at these three meetings will be considered in the final report presented to the City Council to assist in developing the final rent stabilization ordinance.”
Calls to the City were inconclusive; no commitment to accommodate the residents has been offered.