Forbes Building

Image result for forbes building jamaica plain maThe Forbes Building is a 147-unit subsidized building in Jamaica Plain, housing mostly elderly and disabled residents. When the Forbes Building was built in 1976, owners received a low-interest mortgage through the State’s 13A program. In exchange, they agreed to keep in a portion of the building’s units well below-market for the duration of the mortgage period. On March 1st, 2022 the mortgage period officially ended, allowing the owner to legally raise previously subsidized rents.

For several years, the Forbes Building Tenant Association (FBTA) has been organizing to preserve their building as long-term affordable housing upon the expiration of the 13A mortgage. But in December 2020, the Forbes Building owner suddenly walked away from a full preservation and subsidy package to preserve the building’s affordability following the 13A mortgage expiration. Since then, the FBTA has mounted a campaign to bring the owner back to the negotiating table and save their homes.

In 2021, the FBTA organized two rallies, bringing together hundreds of tenants, community supporters, and elected officials including Mayor Michelle Wu, State Representative Nika Elugardo, and several Boston City Councilors. Many JP community groups also endorsed the FBTA’s demands, including JP Progressives, JP Neighborhood Development Corporation, and the JP Neighborhood Council. In October 2021, Forbes tenants sent over 1,200 signatures on a community petition to the owner, urging him to "Sign the Contracts Now to Save Our Homes".

On June 1, 2022, 82 tenants received a notice of a rent increase averaging $42/month, effective July 1, for the next six months. The Forbes Building Tenants Association is writing owner Paul Clayton asking him to cancel the increase. Mr. Clayton has announced he is now preparing a long-term renovation and affordability plan to submit to state and city agencies this fall.

In October 2022, All City Management (ACM) missed a key deadline to apply for State funds, despite months of promises to do so. Reportedly, ACM is requesting $38 million more in public subsidies than State guidelines allow. But ACM has not prepared an appraisal to justify this request, nor has ACM even hired a qualified consultant to prepare State and City subsidy applications!

The FBTA is not content to sit idly by. Since the new leases took effect the FBTA Steering Committee has met with the property manager, received a commitment from the JP Neighborhood Council to send a letter to the building owner expressing support for long term preservation of the Forbes as affordable housing, hosted a community meeting with Representative Nika Elugardo and held a rally on Saturday, October 22, 2022 to highlight the need for more local and state protections for tenants such as Lifting the Ban on local rent control policies.

The FBTA has been working closely with their newly elected Representative, Samantha Montano, and new Senator, Mike Rush, to pass legislation at the Statehouse to save the building. Rep. Montano has re-filed MAHT’s Home Rule Petition to Save Affordable Housing (H1360 and S891, filed by Sen. Liz Miranda) and has also filed Mayor Wu’s Home Rule Petition (H3744) to stabilize rents in Boston. 


In the News

Boston Globe June 12, 2021

Jamaica Plain News June 11, 2021

Jamaica Plain Gazette August 27, 2021

Jamaica Plain Gazette October 8, 2021

Jamaica Plain Gazette Guest Op-Ed February 14, 2022

The Baystate Banner October 26, 2022

Boston Neighborhood Network News October 28, 2022

Axios December 2, 2022

Jamaica Plain Gazette January 27, 2023

Forbes Building Tenant Association Newsletter April 18, 2023

Jamaica Plain News September 25, 2023