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Help Increase Funding for Public Housing

This week, the state Senate is debating the budget, and we need your help! There is a good chance we can increase funding for state public housing, but residents need to contact their Senators this week.

Please Contact Your Senator and

Ask Them to Co-Sponsor
Public Housing Budget Amendments #195 and #236
to the Senate Ways and Means Budget

Last week, the Senate Ways and Means Committee released its proposed budget for the coming year starting in July. It included $107 million for the housing authority operating subsidy line item, which is an increase from last year. However, if we all contact our Senators, there is a chance we can increase it even more, to $125 million! 

We are also asking to increase tenant participation funds in state housing to match federal housing – from $6/unit to $25/unit.

As soon as possible, please ask your Senators to co-sponsor the following budget amendments:

  • Amendment #236: Amendment #236 would provide $1 million for tenant participation funding for state public housing to raise the amount from $6/unit to $25/unit as in federal public housing, and $1 million to launch a resident maintenance program. Amendment #236 was Filed by Senator Lydia Edwards.
  • Amendment #195: Amendment #195 would increase the public housing subsidy to $125 Million, an $18 Million increase over the Senate Ways & Means request of $107 Million. Public housing operating subsidy is critical to preserving public housing. Amendment #195 was filed by Senator Liz Miranda.

Please contact your Senator as soon as possible. We have until Monday May 22 to get co-sponsors before the Senate starts to debate the budget.

To find your Senator go to:

For more information and tips about talking to legislators, download our popular “Power of One” booklet here (PDF).

We’re Hiring! Director of Membership/Organizer

Application Deadline: May 31, 2023

  • Salary: $75,000 FTE
  • Benefits: Generous health, vision and dental benefits. Generous vacation and other paid time off.
  • Hours: 32-40 hours/week
  • Reports to: Executive Director

Job Description/About Us

Mass Union is seeking an experienced organizer to work directly with public housing tenants across the state. There are 240 Housing Authorities in Massachusetts, providing housing for about 75,000 households. Mass Union’s mission is to help these residents advocate for a high quality of life, including safe and sanitary living conditions. Massachusetts is the only state with a sizable amount of state-funded public housing units, which provide housing for 43,000 extremely low-income seniors, persons with disabilities, and families. The state-funded portfolio has been underfunded for decades and it is necessary to build tenant power to ensure that the buildings remain livable and tenants are treated with respect. This is a crucial fight, given the state’s affordable housing crisis.

Mass Union is governed by a board of public housing tenants. We have close working relationships with state agencies, Housing Authorities, and partners who provide legal and other support. We are a membership organization. Our members (affiliates) are democratically-run tenant organizations across the state. We currently have about 60 affiliates and are poised for significant expansion. The Director of Membership will play a key role in shaping and delivering programming to current and new affiliates in order to build power at the local and state levels. You will have the chance to help tenants form Local Tenant Organizations, which have strong regulatory rights to participate in the decision-making that occurs at Housing Authorities. You will also help shape and advocate for our policy agenda. You will be at the center of a crucial fight for housing justice.

Experience and Skills Needed

  • At least five years organizing experience at the grassroots or statewide level
  • Bilingual a major plus (Spanish-English preferred)
  • Experience working with low-income communities, communities of color, and seniors
  • Facilitation skills and strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to absorb and share accurate information about relevant laws, regulations and guidance from federal and state agencies
  • Grassroots-based power analysis; understanding of the roots of poverty, inequality, racism, and classism
  • Supervisory and/or training experience a plus
  • Standard office and database skills
  • Ability to travel across the state
  • Some nights and weekends needed
  • Knowledge of housing regulations and issues a plus


  • With the Executive Director, work with public housing tenant leaders to form tenant organizations and build collective power, including running elections
  • Assist in creating and advocating for Mass Union’s policy agenda
  • Supervise a small cohort of public housing resident leaders who provide peer-to-peer support for other residents
  • Provide support to tenants in filing grievances
  • Speak at resident meetings and other venues
  • Facilitate resident meetings and other meetings
  • Track tenant engagements in Salesforce
  • Manage communications with residents and others
  • Provide other support as needed, particularly with fundraising and our biannual Conventions

Mass Union is based in Dorchester. This position will involve travel and some work from home is also negotiable. The Director of Membership will have the option to work 80% time if desired (with prorated salary).

How to Apply

Please submit your application to our online application page by May 31, 2023. We ask for your resume and answers to a few application questions in lieu of a cover letter. NRG Consulting Group is helping us run this search. Please contact with any questions.

Mass Union is a diverse community and we strive to be radically inclusive. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Mass Union’s 52nd Annual Spring Convention

May 5, 2023 – May 7, 2023
Best Western, Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, Marlborough

181 Boston Post Rd W, Marlborough, MA 01752
For directions, call the hotel at (508) 460-0700


Friday, May 5

3:00 PM Hotel Check in Opens

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Convention Registration (Lobby)

Saturday, May 6

Note that if you arrive on Saturday, bags can be stored in the Corporate room until hotel check-in opens at 3pm.

7:30 AM Restaurant Breakfast (if you stayed Friday night)

8:00 AM – 9:45 AM Continental Breakfast (Ballroom Foyer)

8:00 AM – 1:00 PM Convention Registration (Lobby)

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Morning Plenary (Salon CD)

Speakers: Mass Union Board and Staff; Chris Devore and Fatima Razzaq, DHCD

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM LUNCH (Salon CD)

Guest Speaker: State Representative Carole Fiola by Recorded video

Dave Underhill, Bill King Award
Don Rivard, Special Commendation
Stephen P. Montgomery, Lincoln Durant Award


Becoming a Resident Researcher: Lessons from the Healthy Neighborhoods Study             Salon E

This workshop will describe the power of doing your own research, using lessons from the Healthy Neighborhoods Study, one of the largest Participatory Action Research projects in the country.

Presenters: Dave Underhill: Vice-President of Mass Union, Vice-Chairman Board of Commissioners Fall River Housing Authority, Chairman of Fall River Housing Joint Tenant Council; Andrew Seeder: Research Scientist,  Participatory Methods and Training

Local Tenant Organizations and Resident Participation         Princess

According to DHCD, resident participation in decision-making at the Housing Authority is beneficial and should be encouraged. Join us for a review of your participation rights as well as tips for running a strong, impactful Local Tenant Organization (LTO).

Presenters: Sarah Byrnes, Executive Director of Mass Union; Maria Fernandes, Facilitator and Trainer

Building Our Voices & Power at the Statehouse             Duchess

Join Mass Union and our partners MassNAHRO, CHAPA, Mass Law Reform, and the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) for an update on important policy changes, as well as key tips for how you can help create state-level change for public housing residents.

Presenters: Donald Hamilton, Secretary of Mass Union; Kelley Cronin, Executive Director of Acton Housing Authority, President of MassNAHRO; Annette Duke, Mass Law Reform Institute; Eric Shupin, CHAPA; Representatives from the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization



Reasonable Accommodations         Salon E

Join lawyers from South Coast Fair Housing for an overview of Reasonable Accommodations. Learn about your rights and the process for requesting an accommodation.

Presenters: Kristina da Fonseca, Executive Director, and Brittany Perdigao, Staff Attorney, SouthCoast Fair Housing

Special Session for LHA Resident Board Members (Commissioners)    Princess

Are you a resident on the board of your Local Housing Authority? Join us to discuss your critical role with others in the same boat. We’ll review tips and ideas for common challenges. Bring your questions and ideas!

Presenter: Sarah Byrnes: Executive Director, Mass Union

Fundraising for Local Tenant Organizations         Duchess

Join Mass Union Board Members and other residents to think about ways to fundraise for LTOs. This session will be entirely tenant-led! We’ll share creative ideas for generating funds and other donations and open it up to your ideas as well.

Presenters: Jessica Quinonez, Resident Commissioner in  Springfield, President of the Jennie Lane Tenants Association, and Mass Union Board Member; Don Rivard, President of Charter Street Tenants Association in Salem and Mass Union Treasurer

4:15 – 5:00 PM Closing Plenary and Raffles (Salon CD)


Linda Montgomery, Jack Cooper Award


Note that hotel check-out is 11:00 AM. Please plan to check-out before the Election. Bags can be stored in the Corporate room until your departure.

7:30 AM Restaurant Breakfast (if you stayed Saturday night)

8:00 AM Continental Breakfast (Ballroom Foyer)

9:00 AM Mass Union Board Election (Salon CD)

12:00 -1:00 PM Lunch (Ballroom Foyer)

Action Needed! Campaign for Safe and Dignified State Public Housing

Updated Friday, April 21, 2023

On Wednesday, April 12th, the House Ways and Means Committee released its proposed FY2024 budget for the coming year. It included $102 million for the housing authority operating subsidy line item, a $10 million increase over last year. But more is needed to preserve public housing now and for the future. 

Residents’ voices need to be heard. 

As soon as possible, please ask your Representative to co-sponsor the following amendments:

  • Amendment #392: Amendment #392 would increase the public housing subsidy to $112 Million, a $10 Million increase over the House Ways & Means request of $102 Million. Public housing operating subsidy is critical to preserving public housing. Amendment #392 was filed by Representative Danillo Sena.
  • Amendment #966: Amendment #966 would provide $1 million for tenant participation funding for state public housing to raise the amount from $6/unit to $25/unit as in federal public housing and $1 million to launch a resident maintenance program. Amendment #966 was Filed by Representative Carole Fiola.
  • Amendment #1137: Amendment #1137 provides language to establish an Access to Counsel Program and funding of $7 million to phase it in. An Access to Counsel Program would provide legal representation for low-income tenants and low-income owner occupant landlords in eviction proceedings. While 86% of landlords are represented in Housing Court, only 11.5% of tenants are represented. Amendment #1137 was filed by Representative Dave Rogers.

Please contact your Representative as soon as possible. We have one week to get co-sponsors before the House starts to debate the budget during the week of April 24th.

To find your Representative go to:

To access the actual language of the amendments you can go to:

April 14: Scholarships Raffle, Live on Zoom!

Friday, April 14, 2023, 9am-10am
Zoom Link:
Phone: 301-715-8592, ID: 853 514 8848

Mass Union Affiliates can apply for a scholarship to attend our Convention! Read all about it here.

Join us on Zoom on April 14 at 9am as we draw names in a raffle to distribute the scholarships. We have a very generous pool of scholarship funds and hope everyone who applies will be awarded one.

Become a Mass Union Affiliate!

Public housing tenant associations are invited to join Mass Union as affiliates! You do not need to be officially recognized by the Housing Authority but you do need to have held an election and have at least five active members.

Email and let us know you would like to join Mass Union!! To participate in Mass Union’s upcoming Board Election at the Spring 2023 Convention, email us by April 7.

In the email, tell us:

– The name of your tenant group and your Housing Authority
– Your group’s contact person and their phone number, email, and mailing address
– Confirm that your group has held an election and has at least five active members
– If you would like to request a dues wavier, let us know. Dues are $50/year.

Contact or call us at 617.825.9750 for more information.

Convention Scholarship Information

The Mass Union Board of Directors has approved $12,000 in scholarships for our affiliates! We are hoping for a big turn out and lots of new faces.

Scholarships will cover the full cost of the Convention from 8am on Saturday until 1pm on Sunday. This covers all meals and sessions, the Jack Cooper Retirement Gala on Saturday, and a shared room on Saturday night. Registration and Breakfast open at 8am on Saturday and the Morning Plenary begins at 10am.

To request a scholarship, email by April 13 at 5pm. Tell us:

  1. The name of your tenant group and your Housing Authority.
  2. Which one or two people would like to come and their contact information. You can apply for a scholarship as one or two individuals.
  3. Please write one sentence about why you want to attend and why you need funds. All answers are acceptable! We appreciate your honesty.


  1. CONTACT US! Email us with the information above by April 13 at 5pm.
  2. RAFFLE! We will draw names on a live Zoom meeting on April 14 at 9am. Join us then for the fun! You do not need to be present on the Zoom Raffle to win a scholarship. We will notify you that day. If more than two people from one town/city apply, we will provide scholarships for the first two names drawn.

Scholarship Eligibility

  1. You must be an affiliate or have applied for affiliation by April 7. Read about becoming an affiliate.
  2. If you have paid to attend the Convention in the past, we urge you to please use the same funding again! If you can access funds from your LTO, RAB or Housing Authority, please, please do. There are many people who cannot access these types of funds and we hope to offer the scholarships to them. This will allow as many tenants as possible to attend. We especially want to welcome new members and people from small Housing Authorities who usually cannot afford to come. Thank you for your understanding!
  3. If you win a scholarship, you must participate in the Convention! Join workshops, discussions, and bring your best self. 🙂 Thank you!

Mass Union’s 52nd Annual Spring Convention

May 5, 2023 – May 7, 2023
Best Western, Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, Marlborough

Mass Union affiliates and all Massachusetts public housing residents are encouraged to join us at our annual Spring Convention! Please contact us with any questions.


Registration is now closed.


Please click here to see the agenda.

Attendance Options

Option Cost Per Resident Includes
1. Convention Only

Registration Deadline: April 26

Non-Resident Cost: $200

$180 Continental Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday

Lunch both days

Jack Cooper Retirement Gala

2. Convention + Saturday Stay

Registration Deadline: April 19

Single Occupancy: $350 Restaurant Breakfast on Sunday

Lunch both days

Jack Cooper Retirement Gala

Saturday night hotel room

Double Occupancy: $280 per person ($560 total)
3. Convention + Friday and Saturday Stay

Registration Deadline: April 19

Single Occupancy: $500 Restaurant Breakfast Saturday and 


Lunch both days

Jack Cooper Retirement Gala

Friday and Saturday night hotel room

Double Occupancy: $355 per person ($710 total)