BOSTON – Today, under the leadership of State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield), the Massachusetts Senate passed S. 1755, An Act providing for the establishment and administration of rent regulations and the control of evictions in mobile home accommodations in the town of West Stockbridge.
S. 1755, a home rule petition approved by the voters of West Stockbridge during a Special Town Meeting on February 25, 2013, was sponsored jointly by Downing and State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D – Lee). The legislation authorizes West Stockbridge to establish a rent control board for the purpose of regulating rent adjustments, minimum standards for occupancy, and evictions of tenants in the Town’s mobile home parks.
The bill is modeled after a similar Special Act signed into law in 1987 for the Town of Cheshire. It seeks to protect mobile home residents, mostly low-to-middle income families and individuals, from exorbitant rent increases, while also setting standards for occupancy and evictions that will guide park owners in the administration of their property. Once established, the Board will provide protections to park residents and owners while also serving as an important intermediary between the two parties.
This is the second time that Downing and Pignatelli have filed this proposal on behalf of West Stockbridge. A similar petition, S. 2351 of 2012, was approved by Special Town Meeting on June 25, 2012 and engrossed by the Senate last October. However, that bill was not scheduled for debate by the House of Representatives and therefore expired at the end of the 2011-2012 legislative session.
S. 1755 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.