Roslindale Neighbors: City Council to hold hearing on Florence Apartments


The Boston City Council will hold a public hearing Nov. 15 to gather testimony regarding the expiration of Section 8 housing at Florence Apartments.

Over 150 families will likely be evicted from the apartment complex on Fawndale Road because of landlord Francis Colannino’s plans not to renew the contract with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that makes the apartments affordable, said Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation Community Organizer Magalis Troncoso.

Residents have been trying to get a meeting with Colannino and holding rallies and public actions for close to three years, Troncoso said.

In April, Section 8 residents received notices that Colannino would not be seeking to renew the HUD contract. Federal law requires landlords to give HUD tenants one year’s notice of an expiring contract.

Troncoso said she does not know why Colannino is not renewing the contract. Some of the affected families have been living at Florence Apartments for as long as 20 years, she said.

Colannino could not be reached for comment for this article.

Tenants are concerned about having to reapply for Section 8, trying to find housing in a tight market and the destruction of their community, Troncoso said.

“Maybe he doesn’t want to see Latino and low-income families living in the neighborhood. Maybe he wants to change the neighborhood,” she said.

The City Council has already passed a resolution in support of the HUD tenants, but the hearing is one more effort to put pressure on Colannino, Troncoso said.

“He can do whatever he wants, but if we put a lot of pressure on him maybe he will change his mind,” she said.

The hearing, sponsored by At-Large Councilor Sam Yoon, will take place Nov. 15, 6 to 8 p.m. at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Building, 25 Colgate Road.

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