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Renters Deserve Better

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Last week, we had over 50 housing advocates attend the Rules & Ordinances Committee meeting. It was a sight to be seen. Renters and advocates demanded the City Council take action to prevent unnecessary evictions in Waltham. It’s clear there’s a growing movement in Waltham of tenants demanding basic notifications for renters who are about to undergo the eviction process.

Waltham housing advocates at a city council meeting.
Waltham renters deserve better

As eviction protections expire, the Tenant Notification Ordinance is an attempt to make evictions a more fair and just process. At the start of the eviction process, landlords would provide basic information (notification) to their tenants about their basic rights and resources. It’s really that simple. Waltham can establish some degree of housing stability by preventing unnecessary evictions. Everyone wins when Walthams tenants know their rights and the resources available to them.

Waltham renters demand better rights and resources
Councilor Jonathan Paz speaking on behalf of Waltham renters

Unfortunately, at last week's Ordinance & Rules Committee Meeting, the Committee Chair - Councilor Harris - blocked any speakers to comment on the ordinance. This was a surprise given its customary to allow speakers or representatives to share subject matter expertise. Instead, Councilor Harris required for a public hearing to be conducted on the matter before any further action takes place. Keep in mind - it’s not customary for the City Council to require public hearings for ordinance changes.

While I appreciate a good public hearing, it’s interesting timing. Why not share this requirement 10 months ago when we first introduced the concept in committee? Why only share this requirement when +50 advocates show up?

It makes one ponder the Washington Post slogan - “Democracy dies in darkness.”

Councilor Jonathan Paz addresses Waltham renters after a city council meeting.
Councilor Jonathan Paz addresses Waltham renters

We need to build support for the Tenant Notification Ordinance. If you live in Waltham, we need your support. There will be a public hearing and we need to amplify the needs and realities of renters in Waltham. We need to uplift the stories of the humans behind the housing crisis. We need to uplift the stories of senseless displacement in Waltham. We need to demand action now, not tomorrow. If you’d like to get involved, please fill out this form.

Thank you again for your support and helping make this work possible.

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