Press Coverage

Displaced Tenants at Broadway Glen Worry about Apt. Conditions

October 8, 2015

Long before a flood inundated several floors of the Broadway Glen low-income high rise apartment building on Sept. 12, tenants said owners had allegedly sat on reoccurring problems that plagued the building, and tenants who are now displaced from the building are worried about what their apartments will look like when they return later this month. Police are still looking for a suspect who is pictured on surveillance video opening a Fire Department standpipe in the stairwell of the sixth floor, unleashing thousands of gallons of water on the residents below and causing more than $500,000 in damages. Yet, as the police continue their investigation, tenants who have been displaced have been on a mission of their own to get the attention of a landlord they say has been unresponsive and hasn’t answered their questions. “We heard the alarms go off, but we didn’t go out because the alarm goes off all the time,” said Jamie Vasquez, who has lived in the building for six years with her three young children. “We thought something was just wrong with the fire alarm again. Then I looked up and the water was coming out of the ceiling. I opened my door and water was everywhere. My closets were full of water. All of my kids’ clothes were ruined and had to be thrown away. We lost almost everything and we’ve been in a hotel every since. We were evacuating the building when we realized that a handicapped man was trapped inside. Nobody was here to help. The owners weren’t here. We went in and helped bring the handicapped man out. There wasn’t anyone else. I want some answers about all of this, but I don’t even get an apology. No one says they’re sorry.” Tenants are now dealing with what to do with October’s rent payments, and an attorney has been brought in by the Chelsea Collaborative to advise tenants about what to do with rent and damages.

Centro Latino Closes Its Doors

September 24, 2015

According to sources, employees of Centro Latino had an outing to celebrate their successful move from their long-time headquarters on Broadway to their new building at the former Cataldo Ambulance building on Hawthorne Street. After several months of hard work in making that move, a pot luck celebration to bring about a new start for the organization – which was looking for a new executive director – seemed appropriate. On Monday, quite suddenly, the celebration came to a halt as those same employees and administrators were told by the Board of Centro Latino that, as of that day, they were all laid off and the organization was going to shutter its doors after 26 years of providing educational services and Citizenship classes to the Latino population in Chelsea and surrounding communities.

Summer Fun

September 22, 2015

Cousins Valerie Hinojosa and Alexandra Hinojosa cool off in a parachute at Quigley Park on Monday afternoon while taking part in the Parks Program, sponsored by the Chelsea Collaborative Youth Summer Jobs program, the Mass General Outdoor Rx and the Chelsea Police. The Parks Program runs Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes a lunch from Project Bread. It operates in both Quigley and Bosson Parks.

Candidates Hit a Range of Topics During Collaborative’s Live Forum

September 17, 2015

The Chelsea Collaborative held a question and answer forum on Tuesday night at its headquarters with a packed house in attendance. Those participating will be on the ballot this coming Tuesday, Sept. 22, in the Preliminary Election. It will feature the City Council at-Large candidates and the District 5 Council candidates. Seven of the 11 candidates on the ballot participated in the questioning

Malicious Flood Exposes Major Problems

September 17, 2015

The Chelsea Collaborative held a tenant meeting with City officials at their Broadway headquarters on Monday afternoon and learned of several stories about mice and unsanitary living conditions that allegedly existed. City Manager Tom Ambrosino attended that meeting and said this week the City will look at any such problems.

Ambrosino to Convene Stakeholders on Chelsea Street Bridge Delays

August 28, 2015

Fewer things are more frustrating for Chelsea drivers than seeing the gates go down on the Chelsea Street Bridge. Were it a few minutes of idle time, folks might tolerate it. [...] Roseanne Bongiovanni of the Chelsea Collaborative said she has heard of some people taking the bus to Revere to avoid the bridge. “Yes, there are definitely concerns and complaints from Chelsea residents about the length of time it takes for the bridge to ‘open and close,’” she said. “Some have told me that they take the bus into Revere to get onto the train there rather than trying to cross the bridge during rush hour traffic to commute into work.”

REVERE ATTORNEY ORDERED TO PAY MORE THAN $625,000 FOR UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE FORECLOSURE RELIEF SERVICES

August 7, 2015

avid Zak Targeted Homeowners with Deceptive Advertising and Charged Thousands in Illegal Advance Fees; Ordered to Cease Practices and Pay Civil Penalties and Consumer Restitution BOSTON – A Revere attorney and his two businesses have been ordered to pay more than $625,000 for targeting homeowners with deceptive advertisements and demanding thousands in illegal advance fees for mortgage modification and foreclosure relief services they failed to deliver, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. “At a time when homeowners were struggling to afford their mortgages, this attorney abused his clients’ trust and deliberately exploited their financial circumstances by demanding exorbitant fees based on false promises, leaving these homeowners even more vulnerable,” AG Healey said. “This judgment puts an end to these deceptive and unfair practices and confirms that those who seek to capitalize on the foreclosure crisis will be held accountable.” The final judgment, issued by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Paul Wilson against David Zak and his businesses Zak Law Offices, P.C., and Loan Modification Group, Inc., finds defendants liable under the state’s Consumer Protection Act. The court found that the defendants preyed upon at-risk homeowners throughout Massachusetts who were facing the imminent loss of their homes, took unlawful advance fees based on deceptive guarantees that mortgage loans could be modified to prevent foreclosures.

Chelsea Students are in MBTA Pilot Program

July 3, 2015

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack on Wednesday launched a year-long pilot program that will provide MBTA monthly passes to up to 1,500 youth between the ages of 12 and 21 in the cities of Boston, Somerville, Chelsea and Malden. The pilot program was spearheaded by efforts of the ECOYouth Club at the Chelsea Collaborative, and came only after numerous meetings with the MBTA in an effort led by the young people.

Expansion of Housing Court touted at State House hearing

May 28, 2015

A long parade of speakers testified generally favorably Wednesday (May 27) before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on companion bills (H.1656 and S.901) that would expand the jurisdiction of the Housing Court statewide. The total cost of the proposal, which would involve hiring five judges, 10 to 15 housing specialists and other staff, has been estimated at $2.4 million. Advocates of the plan believe the expertise in the Housing Court allows for faster and better outcomes to landlord-tenant disputes than in the District Court, ultimately reducing homelessness. Fire official also backed the idea, saying that the Housing Court allows for code violations and potentially deadly safety hazards to be addressed more promptly.

$233,600 is fine for Revere lawyer

May 12, 2015

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has ordered a Revere attorney to pay $233,600 for discriminating against 17 Latino homeowners by targeting them with predatory ads for modifying mortgages. Attorney David Zak said he will appeal the ruling and denies any wrongdoing. “Attorney Zak engaged in conduct that can only be described as despicable,” said Commissioner Sunila Thomas-George of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). “When tough times hit and hard-working families struggle to pay the mortgage, the last thing they need is to have a lawyer defraud them out of thousands of dollars by exploiting their limited English proficiency.”