Access to Justice and smooth running of the court system in general are at the center of this push by the Supreme Judicial Courts Justice Gants. If Justice Gants' hopes come to fruition every community will have a housing court accessible to it by mid-summer 2015.
As an attorney who practices in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex counties generally I can say without reservation that this would streamline the processing of these cases and make the outcomes fairly predictable.
A common misconception about the housing courts is that they are overwhelmingly tenant friendly. It is the law that bends in favor of the Tenant in Massachusetts, these housing courts simply apply the law correctly to those cases. Tenants are the consumers of residential apartments, the Landlords therefore are considered businesses or sellers and held to a higher standard; since, Massachusetts is very protective of our Consumers, we put in place many of the same “treble” (multiplying by three) of damages and attorney's fee shifting provisions.
What this means is that if you own 1 or 1,000 units in the Commonwealth, you have to be smart about how you do business.