RELOCATION AND REHOUSING RIGHTS
AMENDED LETTER OF ASSURANCE
October 27, 2021
Dear Residents of the Mary Ellen McCormack Public Housing Community,
The Boston Housing Authority (“BHA”), the developer WinnDevelopment (“Developer”), and your elected tenant association, the Mary Ellen McCormack Task Force (“MEMTF”), take this opportunity to restate our commitment to all households who live at the Mary Ellen McCormack Public Housing Development (“Mary Ellen McCormack”) that we look forward to working together to ensure that we redevelop Mary Ellen McCormack into a vibrant and sustainable mixed-income community where everyone has a beautiful, safe, clean, and affordable place to call home. The following assurances are at the center of our redevelopment of Mary Ellen McCormack (“Redevelopment Project”) and guide us in all the decisions we make.
Right to Return/Rehousing. All current Mary Ellen McCormack residents who are required to relocate temporarily for the Redevelopment Project have the right to return and to be rehoused in an appropriately sized new unit at the Mary Ellen McCormack site should they choose to do so. The only exceptions to this rehousing guarantee are if a household (1) gets evicted for a serious lease violation, (2) moves out permanently from all BHA housing, or (3) transfers permanently to other BHA housing (e.g., excludes temporary or emergency transfers). There will be no rescreening for returning residents, only income verification.
Deeply Affordable Replacement Units. All 1016 public housing units at Mary Ellen McCormack will be replaced as part of the Redevelopment Project to be rebuilt on the original Mary Ellen McCormack site. No one currently living at the Mary Ellen McCormack site will have to relocate permanently to an off-site unit unless they wish to do so. Most new buildings will include a mix of market and deeply affordable units, although there will be 2-3 buildings with all deeply affordable units and 1 age-restricted (at least one household member age 62 or older) building with all deeply affordable units. All new units in a given building at the Mary Ellen McCormack site (“Mary Ellen McCormack Apartments”), whether deeply affordable replacement or market rate units, will have the same finishes, fixtures, appliances, and amenities as the rest of the units in such building. In addition, all buildings, regardless of whether all deeply affordable or mixed unit types, will have either in-unit or on-site/in-building washer and dryers.
Rent. Tenant rent in new, deeply affordable replacement units will continue to be set at 30% of household income. All 1016 new replacement units will be operated in perpetuity as deeply affordable housing subject to all applicable federal and state housing program rules, and this affordability restriction will be guaranteed in publicly available and enforceable documents.
Utilities. All non-telecommunication utilities (electricity, heat, hot water, air conditioning, water/sewer) will be included in the deeply affordable replacement unit rent.
Continuing Federal Tenant Rights. All Mary Ellen McCormack residents will retain most of the rights they have currently as federally-assisted public housing tenants of BHA, including during any temporary relocation and after being rehoused at the new Mary Ellen McCormack Apartments. The public housing residents’ retained rights include, but are not limited to, how their rent is calculated, grievance policies, and tenant participation rights. No current Mary Ellen McCormack resident will
Mary Ellen McCormack Residents will continue to be subject, however, to a recertification process to determine continuing income-eligibility, including during any temporary relocation and upon moving into the new replacement units at the end of redeveloped Mary Ellen McCormack Apartments.
Relocations Benefits and Rights. Mary Ellen McCormack residents will not be responsible for paying for any relocation-related expenses, and will receive the following relocation benefits: (1) relocation advisory services, including counseling and assistance to help prepare for relocation and to find temporary housing, (2) payment for reasonable moving expenses, and (3) payment for the reasonable additional cost of a comparable replacement dwelling to rent or buy, including utility services. These relocation benefits will be provided in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth in a Relocation Plan and Rehousing Agreement ("Relocation Plan") that will be collectively drafted and approved by the BHA, the Developer , and the MEMTF. No Mary Ellen McCormack Apartment resident will be required to relocate until after all notices required by law and under the Relocation Plan have been timely provided. The relocation plan will strive to minimim (1) off-site relocation and (2) any adverse impact on current residents.
Relocations Benefits and Rights. All Mary Ellen McCormack Apartments residents will be treated fairly, consistently, and equitably in accordance with applicable federal, state and local anti-discrimination, fair housing, federally-aided public housing laws and regulations, and the Relocation Plan with respect to any relocation and rehousing due to the Redevelopment Project. The Mary Ellen McCormack Reloca tion Plan will in all respects comply fully with the federal Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, 42 U.S.C. Section 4601 et seq. ("URA") and its implementing regulations at 49 C.F.R. Part 24, as well as all applicable state and local laws, including, but not limited to G.L. Chapter 79A and its implementing regulations at 760 C.M.R. 27.00 (together, "Governing Laws".)
We look forward to working with all Mary Ellen McCormack residents on this exciting project. The undersigned agree that the terms set forth in this Letter of Assurance shall be incorporated and guaranteed in publicly available and enforceable documents, including a Relocation and Rehousing Plan, Development Agreement, Ground Lease agreement, and/or other regulatory and operating agreements, as may be appropriate, which shall then supersede this Letter of Assurance.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, and intending to be legally bound, the parties hereto have caused this Relocation and Rehousing Rights Letter of Assurance to be signed by their duly authorized officers: