Housing Authority does the math, will cancel security deposit system, return tenant money (Cambridge Housing Authority)

Date Published: 
February 6th, 2020

From Cambridge Day:

One of Cambridge’s biggest landlords, the Cambridge Housing Authority, is about to take an extraordinary step: return security deposits to its tenants and stop collecting the payments from new residents. The authority’s board approved the change Wednesday.

Staff at the public housing agency said a financial analysis showed that it was spending more than five times as much to maintain the accounts as it collects when a small number of tenants moving out owe rent or leave their apartments damaged. “It just doesn’t pay to keep them,” said Andrew Kerivan, CHA asset manager, referring to the deposits.

The Authority expects to begin returning the money Feb. 15 and finish by the end of March, executive director Mike Johnston said. A memo to its commissioners said 1,642 of its 2,929 public housing households  paid a deposit when they moved in. The maximum amount, under the agency’s policy, is $200. Kerivan said close to $300,000 is held in security deposits.

Read Cambridge Day's article "Housing Authority does the math, will cancel security deposit system, return tenant money," featuring the Cambridge Housing Authority.

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