- Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
- Equal Employment Opportunity Policy & Affirmative Action Plan
- By Laws
- Capitalization Policy for Fixed Assets
- Code of Conduct
- Criminal Offender Records Policy
- Disposition Policy
- Emergency Care Plan
- Integrated Pest Management
- Non-Smoking Policy
- No Trespass Notice
- Parking Policy
- Pet Policy
- Rent Collection Policy
- Satellite Policy
- Smoke Detector Policy
- Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
- Criminal Offender Records Policy
- Fair Housing Policy
- Integrated Pest Management
- Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Policy
- Non-Smoking Policy
- No Trespass Notice
- Parking Policy
- Pet Policy
- Program Participation Policy
- Satellite Policy
- Smoke Detector Policy
- Violence against Woman Act (VAWA)
AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING
Framingham Housing Authority working with the Town of Framingham and the Fair Housing Commission has worked diligently and consistently to overcome the impediments to fair housing choice.
The lack of available, affordable rental housing, has also, in a defacto manner, limited fair housing choice. Most racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities have had to pursue the relatively more affordable rental housing available in South Framingham. That housing has been more apt to be overcrowded, and inferior in quality. Framingham Community Development staff, Fair Housing Committee members, Planning Board, Department of Planning and Economic Development staff and the Framingham Housing Authority will work to implement an appropriate mixed use development area in the downtown and hopefully expand housing and thus fair housing choice. The focus will be on proposed changes in zoning, a more centralized approach to Program Planning Development and Operational Management and Neighborhood Revitalization, Municipal and Other Services. There will be infra-structural and facilities improvements situated in Framingham’s lower income and most racially and ethnically diverse census tract.
Framingham Housing Authority has a partnership with South Middlesex Opportunity Council for housing education classes. Predatory lending and subprime lending, identity theft and credit card scams are addressed. Barriers to fair housing and housing discrimination are discussed at length. Families are educated to make informed and voluntary decisions regarding the home buying process. The Housing Authority also uses agencies such as Consumer Credit to provide financial education where credit and budgeting is highlighted. Our home ownership program partners with banks and agencies that are multilingual and culturally sensitive to the diverse population we serve.
The Town of Framingham is a community located in eastern Massachusetts, 20 miles west of Boston, mid-way between Boston and Worcester with a population of 67,000 inhabitants. The median sales price of a home in 2007 is $330,000. Despite being in one of the most expensive areas of the country, Framingham Housing has a thriving home-ownership program with 15 families having purchased homes through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. Of these families 87% are female head of household, and 47% are minorities or disabled households. All families have moved to communities of their choice away from areas of concentrated poverty and distressed neighborhoods.
Although Framingham is one of few towns in Massachusetts that has met its legal requirement of 10% for Chapter 40B Affordable component, it continues to strive to enhance fair housing choice.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLAN
I. STATEMENT OF POLICY
It is the policy of the Framingham Housing Authority to prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, language, presence of children, sexual orientation, political beliefs or affiliations, military service, age or handicap with regard to all matters within its jurisdiction. This policy is intended to comply with state and federal law designed to promote equal employment opportunity and to remedy the effects of any past or present discrimination through affirmative action.
The Framingham Housing Authority will not discriminate against employee or applicants for employment in the terms, conditions or privileges of employment, including but not limited to:
- Recruitment, advertising, and processing applications for employment.
- Hiring, upgrading, promotion, award of tenure, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, right of return from layoff, injury or illness, and rehiring.
- Rates of pay or any other form of compensation and changes in compensation.
- Job assignments, job classifications, organizational structures, position descriptions, lines of progression, and seniority lists.
- Leaves of absence, sick leave or any other leave.
- Fringe benefits.
- Selection and financial support for training, professional meetings, conferences and related activities.
- Employer sponsored activities, including social or recreational programs.
The Framingham Housing Authority will make reasonable accommodation for the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified applicant or employee with handicaps unless the necessary accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its programs.
While carrying out this Policy for Equal Opportunity Employment, the Framingham Housing Authority shall continue its policy for tenant reference in hiring.
Residency within the Town of Framingham will not be a prerequisite for employment by the Framingham Housing Authority.
The Framingham Housing Authority will ensure that nothing contained in its collective bargaining agreements will interfere with its ability to promote equal opportunity and affirmative action consistent with this Policy and will make efforts to renegotiate any provision in a collective bargaining agreement which conflicts with this Policy.
The Framingham Housing Authority shall ensure that its contractors will not engage in discrimination prohibited by this Policy and will take affirmative steps to utilize minority and women businesses in contracts for goods, services, construction and maintenance.
II. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OFFICER
The Executive Director is designated as the Equal Opportunity Officer and, as such, shall direct and monitor the Framingham Housing Authority’s implementation of this Policy and coordinate efforts to comply with state and federal law. The Executive Director, as Equal Opportunity Officer, will have the following duties:
- Establishment of goals and objectives.
- Periodic review of hiring and promotion patterns to ensure that goals and objectives are met.
- Review of the qualifications of all employees to ensure that employees protected by this Policy are given full opportunities for transfers and promotions. Special and continuing attention shall be given to all employees protected by this Policy by a systematic review of employment status in order to maximize their employment opportunities.
- Periodic review of job descriptions and personnel policies to ensure that they contain no artificial barriers or non-job related elements which might screen out members of groups protected by this Policy.
- Coordination and supervision of the activities involved in monitoring and reporting on equal employment opportunity activities.
- Notification of all third party contractors of obligations with respect to equal employment opportunity. Serving as the recipient of all complaints from all sources including monitoring agencies of the state or federal government.
- Receiving, reviewing, and submitting all required equal opportunity reports.
A. Establishment of Goals and objectives
On an annual basis the Equal Opportunity Officer shall conduct a utilization analysis of the Framingham Housing Authority’s work force, consisting of a breakdown of the representation and utilization of minority, female, Vietnam-era veteran and handicapped personnel in each of the following categories for each department:
- Maintenance and service
- Managerial, technical and professional
The Equal Opportunity officer shall determine that where the percentage of minorities, females, Vietnam-era veterans and handicapped personnel in any job category does not reflect the percentage of members of these groups in the population of the Town of Framingham or the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, whichever percentage is greater, there is an under utilization in the job category. If an under utilization is determined, the Equal Opportunity Officer will establish goals for improving the utilization of minorities, women, Vietnam-era veterans and-handicapped individuals in each category for which the under utilization has been determined.
B. Achieving the Goals
Where the Equal Opportunity Officer has determined that the Framingham Housing Authority has not reached a goal for hiring which has been established pursuant to paragraph III A above, then between equally qualified applicants, preference shall be given in the following order:
- First, affirmative action candidates who are tenants
- Second, affirmative action candidates who are not tenants
- Third, tenants who are not affirmative action candidates
C. Recruitment Procedures
The Equal Opportunity Officer will keep a list of recruitment sources used during the previous fiscal year. These recruitment sources will include:
- Contacting minority, handicapped, womens and Vietnam veterans organizations.
- Publishing in newspapers of regional and local circulation.
- Utilizing media sources which will reach minorities, women, Vietnam-era veterans and handicapped people.
- Posting job opportunities at the Framingham Housing Authority Administration Building, Management offices and Tenant Association offices.
- Sending notices of job opportunities to the Division of Personnel Administration and to the Executive Office of Communities and Development.
All recruitment materials will include the phrase “An Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer.” Job positions will be kept open for an amount of time reasonably calculated to allow affirmative action candidates to apply. The Authority shall interview at least three qualified applicants, if available, and will make every effort to include affirmative action candidates among those interviewed.
D. Hiring and Promotion Practices
The Framingham Housing Authority will not use any employment test or selection criteria that tends to screen out members of groups protected by this Policy. Any tests given will be designed to reflect only the job applicants skills, aptitude or education in order to assess the applicant’s qualification for the position. Pre-employment inquiries or examinations regarding physical or mental condition will only be conducted to determine an applicant’s ability to perform job related functions, and will only be required of one applicant if required of all entering employees in the job category.
A. Grievance Procedures
Any employee who believes that he/she has been discriminated against by the Framingham. Housing Authority in violation of this Policy may file a written grievance with the Executive Director, clearly setting forth the employee’s allegation and the remedy sought. The Executive Director will schedule a meeting with the employee and attempt to reach an informal resolution of the matter. If an informal resolution cannot be reached, the Executive Director will convene a hearing at which the employee will have the right to speak, to present witnesses and documentary evidence, and to question any witnesses or documentary evidence against him/her. Within ten (10) days after the hearing, the Executive Director will inform the employee in writing of his decision.
The Framingham Housing Authority shall post, in a conspicuous place in the Administration Building, a notice stating that any individual who believes that he/she has been denied employment, discharged or discriminated against in compensation or in the terms, conditions or privileges of employment, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, military service, language, presence of children, political beliefs or affiliations, age or ancestry, has the right to file a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
A. Contracts for Goods and Services
The Framingham Housing Authority shall take affirmative action to notify and utilize minority and women owned businesses whenever it intends to contract for goods or services.
The Authority will obtain and update a list of minority and women owned businesses from the State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance and make use of the list as a . recruitment source.
Whenever the Framingham Housing Authority is required to advertise for bids for such goods or services, it will send a copy of the advertisement to the State Office of Minority Business Assistance and to the Executive Office of Communities and Development.
B. Construction Contracts
All Framingham Housing Authority contracts for the design, construction, renovation or modernization of buildings shall contain a provision prohibiting discriminatory practices by the contractor as defined by state or federal law.
All Framingham Housing Authority construction contracts will also contain such other provisions for ensuring that a minimum percentage of the contract amount be reserved for minority or women owned businesses as required by the Executive Office of Communities and Development and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
VI. RECORDKEEPING AND REPORTING
The Framingham Housing Authority may invite applicants for employment and employees to indicate whether they are minorities, women, Vietnam-era Veterans, or handicapped persons, if it states clearly that the information requested is for use solely in connection with its affirmative action efforts, will be kept confidential, and is being requested on a completely voluntary basis.
The Equal Opportunity Officer will keep records of:
- The utilization analysis conducted under paragraph III, A above.
- The total number of employees hired each fiscal year including a breakdown of the number of minorities, women, Vietnam-era veterans, and handicapped individuals hired.
- A list of recruitment sources utilized during the year the goals established.
- To remedy the under utilization.
The Equal Opportunity Officer will prepare and submit to the responsible state or federal officials such records and annual or other reports as they may require to ascertain compliance with state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
ARTICLE I Name; Seal; Office
1.Name. The name of the Authority shall be the “Framingham Housing Authority.”
2.Seal. The Seal of the Authority shall be in the form of a circle and shall bear the name of the Authority and the year of its organization.
3.Office. The office of the Authority is located at One John J. Brady Drive, in the Town of Framingham, Massachusetts.
ARTICLE II Officers
4. Officers enumerated. The officers of the Authority shall be a Chair, a Vice Chair, a Treasurer, an Assistant Treasurer and a Secretary who shall be Executive Director.
5. Chair. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Authority. Except as otherwise authorized by resolution of the Authority, the Chair shall sign all contracts, deeds and other instruments made by the Authority. At each meeting, the Chair shall submit such recommendations and information as he/she may consider proper concerning the business affairs and policies of the Authority.
6. Vice Chair. The Vice Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair in the absence or incapacity of the Chair, and in case of a vacancy in the office of Chair,
7. Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. A. The Treasurer shall approve all orders and checks for payment of money and shall pay and disburse such moneys under the direction of the Authority, except as otherwise authorized by resolution of the Authority. The Authority may by resolution designate one or more members to countersign such orders and checks and may from time to time qualify, change or cancel any such designation.
B. The Assistant Treasurer shall perform the duties of the Treasurer in the absence or incapacity of the Treasurer and in case of a vacancy in the office of the Treasurer.
C. The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall give bond for the faithful performance of their duties.
D. Any member elected to the office. of Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer shall serve without compensation other than payment of necessary expenses.
8. Executive Director.
A. The Executive Director of the Authority shall be the ex-officio Secretary and shall have general supervision over the administration of its business and affairs, subject to the direction of the Authority. He/she shall be charged with the management of the housing projects of the Authority. He/she shall have care and custody of all funds of the Authority and shall deposit same in the name of the Authority in such bank or banks as the Authority may select. He/she shall keep regular books of accounts showing receipts and expenditures and shall render to the Authority, at each regular meeting, or oftener when requested, an account of his/her transactions and also of the financial condition of the Authority.
B. The compensation of the Executive Director shall be determined by the Authority, and he/she shall give bond for the faithful performance of his/her duties, but a member of the Authority serving as Secretary and Executive Director in a temporary capacity shall serve without compensation other than the payment of necessary expenses.
9. Deputy Executive Director. The Deputy Executive Director shall assume the duties of the Executive Director during his/her absence. He/she shall also assume the duties of ex officio Secretary for the Authority in the absence of the Executive Director. In the absence of both, a Secretary pro tempore will be elected from among the members of the Board present at the meeting.
10. Secretary. The Secretary shall keep the records of the Authority, shall act as Secretary of the meetings of the Authority and record all votes and shall keep a record of the proceedings of the Authority in a minute book to be kept for such purposes and shall perform all duties incident to his/her office. Documents and supplementary material forming a part of the minutes may be kept in a supplementary document book. He/she shall keep in safe custody the Seal of the Authority and shall have power to affix such Seal to all contracts and instruments authorized to be executed by the Authority.
11. Duties of members. The members of the Authority shall perform such duties as are incumbent upon them by reason of their election to any office and shall perform such other duties and functions as may from time to time be required by the Authority or the bylaws or which may arise by reason of their appointment to serve on committees functioning within the Authority or in cooperation with other persons or groups
12. Election or appointment of certain officers. A. The Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall be elected at the annual meeting of the Authority from among the members of the Authority and shall hold office for one year or until their successors are elected and qualified.
B. The Authority shall appoint one person to fill the office of Secretary and Executive Director. Any person appointed to fill the office of Secretary and Executive Director, or any vacancy therein, shall have such terms as the Authority fixes, but no member of the Authority shall be eligible to hold this office except as a temporary appointee.
13. Vacancies. Should the office of Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer become vacant, the Authority shall elect a successor from its membership at the next meeting, and such election shall be for the unexpired term of said office.
14. Additional personnel. The Authority may from time to time employ such personnel as it deems necessary to exercise its powers, duties and functions as prescribed by the Housing Authority Law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as amended, and all other laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts applicable thereto.
ARTICLE III Meetings
15. Designation of time and place. Annual meetings and regular meetings of the Authority shall be held at such time and place as may be originally designated or subsequently changed by resolution adopted by the Authority at any regular or special meeting. All meetings shall be held at the office of the Authority in the absence of the specific designation of some other meeting place in any such resolution. In the event that the date of any annual or regular meeting as provided in any such resolution shall fall on a Sunday or a legal holiday, the meeting shall be held on the next succeeding secular day at the place and time designated in the resolution.
16. Notice of meetings. Notice of meetings shall be pursuant to MGL C. 39, ~ 23A et seg.
17. Annual meetings. Annual meetings of the Authority shall be held at 7:00 pm on the second Monday of April at the office of the Authority for the purpose of electing officers and for the conduct of such other business as may come before the meeting.
18. Regular meetings. Regular meetings of the Authority shall be held at 7:00 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the office of the Authority for the transaction of the business of the Authority.
19. Special meetings. The Chair of the Authority may, when he/she deems it expedient, and shall, upon the written request of two members of the Authority, call a special meeting of the Authority for the purpose of transacting any business designated in the call. The call for a special meeting may be delivered to any member of the Authority or may be mailed to his/her business or home address at least two days prior to the date of such special meeting. At such special meeting, no business shall be considered other than as designated in the notice, but if all the members of the Authority are present at a special meeting; any and all business may be transacted at such special meeting.
20. Quorum. The powers of the Authority shall be vested in the members thereof in office from time to time. Three members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting its business and exercising its powers and for all other purposes, but a smaller number may meet and adjourn from time to time until a quorum is obtained. At least 12 hours’ notice of the time and place of holding such adjourned meeting shall be given to all members who were not present at the meeting from which adjournment was taken, When a quorum is in attendance, action may be taken by the Authority upon a vote of majority of the members present.
21. Order of business. A. At the regular meetings of the Authority, the following shall be the order of business:
- Roll call.
- Reading and approval of the minutes of the previous regular meeting and any intervening special meeting.
- Bills and communications.
- Report of the Executive Director.
- Reports of Committees.
- Unfinished business.
- New business.
B. All resolutions shall be in writing and shall be copied in a minute book of the Authority,
22. Manner of voting. All questions coming before the Authority shall be presented in the form of motions or resolutions chronologically numbered. The vote on all resolutions shall be by roll call, and each resolution and motion shall be entered in full upon the minutes of the meeting. For all resolutions, the ayes and nays shall be recorded.
ARTICLE IV Amendments
23. Amendment by resolution; vote; notice. The bylaws of the Authority shall be amended only by resolution adopted by the affirmative vote of at least three members of the Authority at a regular or special meeting, held after seven days’ notice in writing of the substance of the proposed amendment shall have been sent to each member.
Chapter 15 BYLAWS
ARTICLE I Name; Seal; Office § 15-1. Name. § 15-2. Seal. § 15-3, Office.
ARTICLE III Officers § 15-4. Officers enumerated. § 15-5, Chair. § 15-6. Vice Chair. § 15-7. Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. § 15-8. Executive Director. § 15-9. Assistant Executive Director. § 15-10. Secretary. § 15-11. Duties of members. § 15-12. Election or appointment of certain officers. § 15-13. Vacancies. § 15-14. Additional personnel.
ARTICLE II Meetings § 15-15. Designation of time and place. § 15-16. Notice of meetings. § 15-17; Annual meetings. § 15-18. Regular meetings. § 15-19. Special meetings. § 15-20. Quorum. § 15-21. Order of business. § 15-22. Manner of voting
ARTICLE IV Amendments §15-23. Amendment by resolution; vote; notice.
(HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Framingham Housing Authority 11-7-1966. Amendments noted where applicable.]
ARTICLE I Name; Seal; Office
§ 15-1. Name. The name of the Authority shall be the “Framingham Housing Authority.”
§ 15-2. Seal. The Seal of the Authority shall be in the form of a circle and shall bear the name of the Authority and the year of its organization.
§ 15-3. Office. The office of the Authority shall be located at 26 Arsenal Road, in the Town of Framingham, Massachusetts.
ARTICLE I Officers
§ 15-4. Officers enumerated. The officers of the Authority shall be a Chair, a Vice Chair, a Treasurer, an Assistant Treasurer and a Secretary who shall be Executive Director.
§ 15-5. Chair. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Authority. Except as otherwise authorized by resolution of the Authority, the Chair shall sign all contracts, deeds and other instruments made by the Authority. At each meeting, the Chair shall submit such recommendations and information as he/she may consider proper concerning the business affairs and policies of the Authority.
§ 15-6. Vice Chair. The Vice Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair in the absence or incapacity of the Chair, and in case of a vacancy in the office of Chair.
§ 15-7. Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. A. The Treasurer shall approve all orders and checks for payment of money and shall pay and disburse such moneys under the direction of the Authority, except as otherwise authorized by resolution of the Authority. The Authority may by resolution designate one or more members to countersign such orders and checks and may from time to time qualify, change or cancel any such designation.
B. The Assistant Treasurer shall perform the duties of the Treasurer in the absence or incapacity of the Treasurer and in case of a vacancy in the office of the Treasurer.
C. The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall give bond for the faithful performance of their duties.
D. Any member elected to the office of Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer shall serve without compensation other than payment of necessary expenses.
§ 15-8. Executive Director. A. The Executive Director of the Authority shall be the ex-officio Secretary and shall have general supervision over the administration of its business and affairs, subject to the direction of the Authority. He/she shall be charged with the management of the housing projects of the Authority. He/she shall have care and custody of all funds of the Authority and shall deposit same in the name of the Authority in such bank or banks as the Authority may select. He/she shall keep regular books of accounts showing receipts and expenditures and shall render to the Authority, at each regular meeting, or oftener when requested, an account of his/her transactions and also of the financial condition of the Authority.
B. The compensation of the Executive Director shall be determined by the Authority, and he/she shall give bond for the faithful performance of his/her duties, but a member of the Authority serving as Secretary and Executive Director in a temporary capacity shall serve without compensation other than the payment of necessary expenses.
§ 15-9. Assistant Executive Director. The Assistant Executive Director shall assume the duties of the Executive Director during his/her absence. He/she shall also assume the duties of ex officio Secretary for the Authority in the absence of the Executive Director, In the absence of both, a Secretary pro tempore will be elected from among the members of the Board present at the meeting.
§ 15-10. Secretary. The Secretary shall keep the records of the Authority, shall act as Secretary of the meetings of the Authority and record all votes and shall keep a record of the proceedings of the Authority in a minute book to be kept for such purposes and shall perform all duties incident to his/her office. Documents and supplementary material forming a part of the minutes may be kept in a supplementary document book. He/she shall keep in safe custody the Seal of the Authority and shall have power to affix such Seal to all contracts and instruments authorized to be executed by the Authority.
§ 15-11. Duties of members. The members of the Authority shall perform such duties as are incumbent upon them by reason of their election to any office and shall perform such other duties and functions as may from time to time be required by the Authority of the bylaws or which may arise by reason of their appointment to serve on committees functioning within the Authority or in cooperation with other persons or groups,
§ 15-12, Election or appointment of certain officers. A, The Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall be elected at the annual meeting of the Authority from among the members of the Authority and shall hold office for one year or until their successors are elected and qualified.
B. The Authority shall appoint one person to fill the office of Secretary and Executive Director. Any person appointed to fill the office of Secretary and Executive Director, or any vacancy therein, shall have such terms as the Authority fixes, but no member of the Authority shall be eligible to hold this office except as a temporary appointee.
§ 15-13. Vacancies Should the office of Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer become vacant, the Authority shall elect a successor from its membership at the next meeting, and such election shall be for the unexpired term of said office.
§ 15-14. Additional personnel. The Authority may from time to time employ such personnel as it deems necessary to exercise its powers, duties and functions as prescribed by the Housing Authority Law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as amended, and all other laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts applicable thereto.
ARTICLE III Meetings
§ 15-15. Designation of time and place. Annual meetings and regular meetings of the Authority shall be held at such time and place as may be originally designated or subsequently changed by resolution adopted by the Authority at any regular or special meeting. All meetings shall be held at the office of the Authority in the absence of the specific designation of some other meeting place in any such resolution. In the event that the date of any annual or regular meeting as provided in any such resolution shall fall on a Sunday or a legal holiday, the meeting shall be held on the next succeeding secular day at the place and time designated in the resolution.
§ 15-16. Notice of meetings. Notice of meetings shall be pursuant to MGL C. 39, § 23A et seq.
§ 15-17. Annual meetings. Annual meetings of the Authority shall be held at 7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday succeeding the first Monday of March at the office of the Authority for the purpose of electing officers, receiving the annual report of the Executive Director and for the conduct of such other business as may come before the meeting.
§ 15-18. Regular meetings. Regular meetings of the Authority shall be held at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at the office of the Authority for the transaction of the business of the Authority,
§ 15-19. Special meetings. The Chair of the Authority may, when he/she deems it expedient, and shall, upon the written request of two members of the Authority, call a special meeting of the Authority for the purpose of transacting any business designated in the call. The call for a special meeting may be delivered to any member of the Authority or may be mailed to his/her business or home address at least two days prior to the date of such special meeting. Al such special meeting, no business shall be considered other than as designated in the notice, but if all the members of the Authority are present at a special meeting, any and all business may be transacted at such special meeting.
§ 15-20. Quorum. The powers of the Authority shall be vested in the members thereof in office from time to time. Three members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting its business and exercising its powers and for all other purposes, but a smaller number may meet and adjourn from time to time until a quorum is obtained. At least 12 hours’ notice of the time and place of holding such adjourned meeting shall be given to all members who were not present at the meeting from which adjournment was taken. When a quorum is in attendance, action may be taken by the Authority upon a vote of majority of the members present.
§ 15-21, Order of business. A. At the regular meetings of the Authority, the following shall be the order of business:
- Roll call.
- Reading and approval of the minutes of the previous regular meeting and any intervening special meeting.
- Bills and communications.
- Report of the Executive Director.
- Reports of Committees.
- Unfinished business.
- New business.
B. All resolutions shall be in writing and shall be copied in a minute book of the Authority.
§ 15-22. Manner of voting. All questions coming before the Authority shall be presented in the form of motions or resolutions chronologically numbered. The vote on all resolutions shall be by roll call, and each resolution and motion shall be entered in full upon the minutes of the meeting. For all resolutions, the ayes and nays shall be recorded.
ARTICLE IV Amendments
§ 15-23, Amendment by resolution; vote; notice. The bylaws of the Authority shall be amended only by resolution adopted by the affirmative vote of at least three members of the Authority at a regular or special meeting, held after seven days’ notice in writing of the substance of the proposed amendment shall have been sent to each member.
CAPITALIZATION POLICY FOR FIXED ASSETS
The following policy is required for complying with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and regulations of the Department of Housing and Community Development.
A Fixed Asset shall be capitalized and depreciated over its useful life when it meets all of the following criteria:
- The original cost of the item is equal to or exceeds $5,000
- It shall have relatively long service life–usually more than one year
- It shall have repeated use, rather than one-time use, and there shall be no need for frequent replacement
- It shall have sufficient value to justify maintaining continued monetary property records.
The Housing Authority will create a depreciation schedule for all fixed assets and update this schedule on a continual basis as fixed assets are disposed of and added. The useful lives for which fixed assets will be depreciated on a straight-line basis shall be:
- Building 40 years
- Land improvements 20 years
- Building improvements 15 years
- Maintenance equipment 5-7 years
- Office Equipment 5-7 years
- Computer equipment 3 years
- Software 3 years
- Automotive equipment 5 years
CAPITALIZATION POLICY OBJECTIVE
To establish the following information relative to non-expendable equipment.
- Comparative data for financial planning purposes relative to replacement of existing equipment or the purchase of new equipment.
- Develop a source of information for insurance coverage and claims.
- To establish a valid basis for the comparison of physical inventories with the record.
- To establish an effective basis for custodial accountability.
CRITERIA FOR CAPITALIZATION The following factors and standards relating to the nature of the expenditure and the characteristics of the property unit shall be considered in establishing the criteria for Capitalization:
- Retention of identity.
- Relatively long service (more than one year).
- Repeated use.
- Sufficient value to justify maintaining continuing monetary property records (purchase price greater than $500).
The following items shall be Capitalized regardless of cost:
A. Motor Vehicles B. Ranges and Refrigerators C. Power Mowers D. Snow Blowers E. Office Furniture F. Typewriters G. Computers
INVENTORY OF EQUIPMENT The Housing Authority shall take a physical inventory of all items of non-expendable equipment as of December 31st of each year and compare the physical inventory with the inventory records.
- If there is a difference between the amounts shown by records and the amounts obtained through the physical count that is a result of a record keeping error, the appropriate adjustment will be authorized by the Executive Director. However, if the difference is a result of either theft, destruction or obsolescence proceed in accordance with Item 2 below.
- In the event of losses from theft, destruction or obsolescence the difference will be evaluated by the Executive Director. Upon this evaluation and the . approval of the Board of Commissioners, the appropriate adjustment will be made.
CODE OF CONDUCT POLICY
It shall be the policy of the Framingham Housing Authority that all members of the organization shall act in a manner consistent with the code of conduct regulations of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Dept. of Housing and Community Development. Among other requirements, this shall include the requirements of the HUD Annual Contributions Contract, the Hatch Act (Title 5, US Code), the HUD Public Housing Authority Ethics Manual, Mass. GL Chap. 268A, DHCD Code of Conduct Regulations and the Framingham Housing Authority (FHA) Personnel Policy. These laws and rules can be complicated and it is the responsibility of the individual to seek advice from the Authority on any issue that may arise that may appear to be in conflict with this policy. The following conduct is applicable.
1) Standards in M.G.L. c. 268A
(a) Applicability to FHA. M.G.L. c. 268A specifies standards of conduct for all Massachusetts public officials and employees. Board members, employees, and professional consultants employed by FHAs are considered to be public officials or employees subject to these standards.
(b) Prohibitions. M.G.L. c. 268A prohibits improper conduct by public officials and employees. The statute also prohibits conduct which appears to be improper. A FHA board member or employee cannot have a financial interest in contracts with the FHA. A FHA board member or employee cannot accept gifts to influence a decision, and he or she cannot accept compensation, other than that paid by the FHA, in connection with any matter in which the FHA has an interest. The statute contains other standards of conduct that apply to board members and employees. When questions arise as to whether certain conduct may be improper under the statute, the affected person should consult the State Ethics Commission.
(2) Specific Standards Affecting Board Members and Employees. The following specific restrictions shall apply to FHA board members and employees:
(a) Ineligibility of Certain officials to be State-Appointed Board Members. An elected or appointed official of a state, county or municipal government, other than a town meeting member, who is in a policy making position as determined by the Department, shall not be eligible for appointment as the state-appointed board member of an FHA. This restriction shall not prohibit reappointment of a currently serving state-appointed board member,
(b) Ineligibility of FHA Board Members for Employment. An FHA board member shall not be eligible for any paid position, including temporary or contract work, with the FHA during his or her service as a board member or for a period of one year following the end of such service,
(C) Ineligibility of Certain FHA Employees for Employment as Clerk of the Works. A FHA executive director, assistant executive director, or director of maintenance or modernization shall not be eligible to serve as clerk of the works on any development or modernization project of the FHA for a period of one year following termination of his or her employment with the FHA. :
(d) Ineligibility of Family Members for Employment. No member of the immediate family of a FHA board member or of an administrative or supervisory employee shall be eligible for employment in any capacity at the FHA without the prior written approval of the Department. The Department may in its discretion approve employment of such immediate family member provided that there has been compliance with all pertinent hiring standards and procedures, the individual is qualified for the position, and the appointment has not been influenced by any consideration other than merit.
(e) Restrictions on Supervision by Family Members. No FHA employee shall hold a position in which he or she directly or indirectly would supervise a member of his or her immediate family,
(f) Restrictions on Purchases of Goods or Services. No FHA shall contract with or purchase goods or services from an FHA board member, employee, or member of the immediate family of such board member or employee, or from any closely held entity in which an FHA board member, an employee, or a member of the immediate family of such board member or employee holds any capital stock or has any beneficial interest.
(g) Admission or Transfer of an FHA Board Member, Employee, or Family Member as a Tenant. Whenever any FHA board member, any administrative or supervisory employee or any member of the immediate family of such a board member or employee seeks admission as a tenant or seeks admission as a participant in a program administered by the FHA or seeks a transfer to a different unit, all necessary information shall be forwarded to the Department, which shall make the decision on the requested admission or transfer in accordance with applicable procedures.
(h) Restrictions on Rental Assistance to FHA Board Members, Employees, and Family Members. No rental assistance shall be paid for any unit owned in whole or in part by an FHA board member, executive director, rental assistance director, any other employee of an FHA (if such person is an employee in the same municipality as the unit), or a member of any such person’s immediate family under any state-funded rental assistance program without the prior written opinion of the State Ethics Commission that such payment would not be improper. The FHA shall forward a copy of the opinion to the Department.
(i) Prevention of Personal Use of FHA Property. No FHA board member or employee shall make personal use of or permit any other person to make personal use of any property belonging to the FHA. The property belonging to the FHA shall be used in furtherance of the FHA’s purposes. This provision shall not be construed to limit the FHA from allowing LTOs, non-profit neighborhood or community groups, or public service organizations to use the property of the FHA for proper purposes benefiting the FHA or its tenants.
(j) Restrictions on Gifts or Compensation. No FHA board member or employee or any member of his or her immediate family (whether on his or her own behalf or on behalf of another person or entity) shall request, solicit, receive, or accept any cash, gift or compensation in any amount from any FHA tenant or any person or other entity who or which does or may reasonably be expected to do business with the FHA. No FHA employee may receive compensation (other than from the FHA) for goods or services provided to a tenant whether or not such goods or services are provided during working hours or on FHA property.
(k) Restrictions on Political Activity. In addition to any restrictions on political activity imposed by federal law, no FHA board member or employee shall solicit or receive campaign contributions, or conduct political activities during work hours, on FHA property or by use of FHA resources, or shall improperly use bis or her official position to coerce or influence others in political campaigns.
(l) Preferential Treatment on Account of Board Membership. No family member, friend, business associate, employer, or potential employer or any like person shall be given any preferential treatment by the FHA because of his or her relationship with the board member. A tenant, who is a board member, shall receive no preferential treatment in housing or services because of his or her board membership.
(m) Limitations on a Board Member Who is an Officer of an LTO. A board member who is an officer in a local tenants organization (LTO) (or other local tenants’ association) shall not act on behalf of the LTO (or other tenants’ association) before the FHA. An officer of an LTO (or tenants association) who is a board member shall not contact the FHA or appear at any FHA meeting on behalf of the LTO (or other such association), and he or she shall not participate as a board member in any matter directly involving the LTO (or other tenants’ association) in which he or she is an officer. No LTO (or other tenants’ association) shall be given preferential treatment because an officer of the organization is a board member or a member of the family of a board member.
(3) Waiver of Restriction for Good Cause. The Department may in its discretion waive one or more of the restrictions in 760 CMR 4.04 (2) in a particular situation where there is a good cause for the waiver and the conduct is not otherwise prohibited.
(4) Tenant Board Members. The following restrictions shall apply to tenants who are board members of an FHA:
(a) Laws Restricting Certain Actions. In recognition of the value of a tenant on the board of an FHA, M.G.L. c, 121B sec. 5 requires that one of the four locally appointed board members in a city must be a tenant in the FHA’s housing. The only restriction imposed by the Legislature in M.G.L. c. 121B on participation by a tenant board member in the FHA’s business is that he or she may not participate in any decision which affects his or her “personal interest”,
The board members of an FHA are considered special municipal employees. The Commonwealth’s Ethics Law, in M.G.L. C. 268A sec.19 prohibits a special municipal employee from participating in his or her job capacity in any matter in which the employee (or a family member, a business in which he or she holds an office or is employed, or a potential employer with which he or she is negotiating) has a “financial interest”,
Thus, a tenant board member under the Ethics Law must avoid participating in decisions.which affect his or her “financial interest” (the Ethics Commission requires such an interest either to be “direct” or “reasonably foreseeable”) and under c. 121B must avoid participating in decisions which affect his “personal interest”. These two statutory requirements should be construed in harmony with each other in determining whether a tenant board member may participate in making a decision. The Ethics Law should not be read to prevent full and effective participation of a tenant member on an FHA board so long as he or she does not use his or her position to derive some direct personal benefit, financial or otherwise, to the board member or to a family member or to a business or potential employer described above).
(b) Determination of When Not to Participate. The determination (whether a decision would have a direct or other reasonably foreseeable effect on a personal interest) is one which the tenant board member must make initially. He or she should look to see whether the decision would result in some actual benefit to himself or herself (or a family member or a business or potential employer described above). A benefit is something of more than minimal value which the board member or family member or business or potential employer described above) might receive depending on the board’s vote. In the event that a vote could result in such a benefit to the board member (or family member or business or potential employer described above), he or she should not participate in making the decision, unless the matter is one of general application to all tenants in a housing program,
The question, whether a decision could be considered to have such a direct benefit, may be difficult for a board member to make under certain circumstances. In such a case the member should request advice from the Ethics Commission, which has established procedures for giving both formal and informal advice.
(c) Examples of When a Tenant Board Member May or May Not Participate. A tenant board member shall not participate in discussions or votes regarding any matters which will affect his or her tenancy or housing unit exclusively, or which will benefit a number of tenancies or housing units, including the tenant member’s unit, but exclude other similar tenancies or housing units. For example, a tenant member may not participate in a . discussion or vote to provide new appliances to a number of selected units, including the member’s own unit and excluding other units which also need new appliances. A tenant member may participate in a discussion or vote on policy matters if they will apply to all tenants in the same housing program equally, such as lease provisions, rules and procedures, but should not participate in a discussion or vote on policy matters which will confer a benefit on himself or herself (or a family member or to a business or potential employer described above) to the exclusion of other potentially eligible tenants.
CRIMINAL OFFENDER RECORDS POLICY
1. Policy statement.
It shall be the policy of the Framingham Housing Authority to comply fully with the emergency regulations governing the request for and use of the criminal offender record information (CORI). as promulgated by the Criminal History Systems Board (CHSB) on July 10, 1992 and which became effective July 15, 1991.
2. Availability of CORI.
The Framingham Housing Authority shall have access to the following CORI in the possession of the CHSB:
- Any and all information relative to any criminal convictions, both felonies and misdemeanors, regardless of when the conviction occurred.
- Any and all information relative to any criminal charges which are currently pending before the courts of the commonwealth or any jurisdiction, including the federal courts.
3. Request for information.
All requests for CORI shall be in writing and shall be on forms prescribed by the CHSB. Requests may be delivered to CHSB by facsimile machine.
There shall be no assessment of any filing or user fee of any kind to the Framingham Housing Authority by the CHSB.
5. Lawful use of CORI.
The Framingham Housing Authority shall use this information for evaluating applicants for public housing and Section 8. Dissemination of CORI for any other purpose or to individuals not involved in the tenant selection process is expressly prohibited.
- Applicants shall be informed in writing that CORI will be obtained from the CHSB.
- The dissemination and/or use of CORI by Framingham Housing Authority employees other than as provided shall be expressly prohibited.
- CORI shall be requested of all persons as authorized occupants on the application for public housing and Section 8 as well as any other persons to be so added at a later time.
- Requests for CORI shall not be made prior to the Framingham Housing Authority final application screening process.
- No person shall be discriminated against on the basis. of race, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, marital status, military status or receipt of public assistance.
- The Framingham Housing Authority designates the Public Housing Manager and the · Director of Section 8 as authorized representatives of the Framingham Housing Authority to submit written request for CORI to the CHSB.
- CORI shall be kept in a separate, locked file cabinet when not being used.
- CORI shall be destroyed when the applicant to whom it pertains has been housed by the Framingham Housing Authority. If an applicant has been determined ineligible for housing, the applicant’s CORI shall be destroyed three years from the date of the applicant’s rejection or after all administrative and judicial proceedings concerning the rejection are exhausted, whichever is later.
- CORI-approved positions –(1) The Framingham Housing Authority approves the following positions as designated “CORI approved” to review and participate in rendering a decision as to whether an applicant is eligible for public housing or Section 8:
(a) Executive Director.
(b) Assistant Executive Director.
(c) Public Housing Manager.
(d) Director of Section 8.
(2) Persons designated shall sign an agreement of nondisclosure as provided by the CHSB.
- Only one copy of the CORI is to be kept in the Framingham Housing Authority’s files.
- No provision of this policy shall prohibit dissemination of CORI by the Framingham Housing Authority in the course of a tenant selection appeal, or other administrative or judicial proceeding in which such CORI is relevant, brought by an applicant against the Framingham Housing Authority.
6. Effective date.
The Policy of the Framingham Housing Authority governing the request for and use of criminal offender record information shall become effective August 24, 1993.
If any provision of this policy or the application thereof is held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or the application of any other part of this policy not specifically held invalid, and to this end the provisions of this policy and various applications thereof are declared to be severable.
Personal property belonging to the Framingham Housing Authority shall not be sold or exchanged for less than fair value. Any personal property belonging to the Housing Authority that is no longer needed for LHA operation shall be declared excess. Any such excess property valued at Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or more, which is not being sold to a public body for a public use or to a non-profit organization for low income housing related purposes (e.g. a resident organization), shall be sold at a public sale,
Sales of excess personal property shall be conducted in the following manner:
- The Executive Director shall declare personal property that is worn out, obsolete or surplus to the needs of the Housing Authority excess. All such declarations shall be documented in writing. A survey to identify such property shall be conducted at least once a year following the inventory.
- If the estimated market value of the personal property offered for sale is less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500,00), the Executive Director may negotiate a sale in the open market after such informal inquiry as he or she considers necessary to ensure a fair return to the LHA. The sale shall be documented by an appropriate bill of sale.
- For sales of excess property valued between Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and Two Thousand Dollars ($2000.00), the Executive Director shalt solicit informal bids orally, by telephone, or in writing from all known prospective purchasers and a tabulation of all such bids received shall be prepared and retained as part of the permanent record. The sale shall be documented by an appropriate bill of sale.
- For sales of excess property valued at more than Two Thousand Dollars ($2000.00), a contract of sale shall be awarded only after advertising for formal bids. The advertisement shall be posted at least fifteen (15) days prior to award of the sale contract and shall be published in newspapers or circular letters to all prospective purchasers. In addition, notices shall be posted in public places. Bids shall be opened publicly at the time and place specified in the advertisement. A tabulation of all bids received shall be prepared and filed with the contract as part of the permanent record. The award shall be made to the highest bidder as to price.
- Notwithstanding the above, the sale or donation of personal property to a public body for public use or a non-profit organization for low-income housing related purposes may be negotiated at its fair value. The transfer shall be documented by an appropriate bill of sale.
- Property that has no usefulness and no disposition value shall be appropriately discarded in such a manner that it will not have a negative effect on the environment.
- Any property that has a trade in value shall be traded in if the amount received reflects the most economical combination of purchase and sale.
The Executive Director shall make every effort to dispose of excess personal property as outlined above. However, if the property has no scrap or salvage value and a purchaser cannot be found, the Executive Director shall prepare a statement detailing the prospective bidders solicited and all other efforts made to sell the property, together with recommendations as to the manner of disposition. The complete documentation in support of destruction, abandonment, or donation, shall be retained as a part of the permanent records.
EMERGENCY CARE PLAN
Pursuant to 760 CMR 5.11, the Framingham Housing Authority hereby adopts the following emergency case plan.
2. Statement of goals and policies
A. Through this plan, the Authority seeks to establish a fair and uniform standard to be applied to all applicants for emergency case status, to the end that similarly situated applicants will receive similar treatment.
B. Requirements employed by the Authority in making determinations of emergency case status as to evidence, documentation and verification, and efforts by the applicant to prevent, avoid or alleviate his/her situation, shall be reasonable in relation to the realistic capacity and resources of the applicant.
3. Emergency case priorities
The Framingham Housing Authority has four different emergency case priorities for placement in its programs covered by 760 CMR 5.00:
(1) Homeless due to displacement by natural forces.
(2) Homeless due to displacement by public action (Public Works).
(3) Homeless due to displacement by public action (Public Health).
(4) Emergency case as defined in, 4B of this chapter.
The definitions of “homeless” adopted in this plan are consistent with the definitions in 760 CMR 5.03.
4. Granting of emergency case status
A. The Authority shall grant Priority 1, 2 or 3 emergency case status to an otherwise eligible and qualified applicant who:
(1) Meets one of the definitions of “displacement” specified in 760 CMR 5.09; and
(2) Is homeless and facing a significant, immediate and direct threat to life or safety. Included in this category are applicants who are without a place to live, living in a car or tent, living in a shelter or emergency-assistance-funded hotel/motel, temporarily housed in a private home in seriously overcrowded conditions as a direct result of the loss of other housing or in other circumstances as determined by the Authority; and
(3) Has made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing.
B. The authority shall grant Priority 4 emergency case status to an otherwise eligible and qualified applicant under the following circumstances:
(1) Homeless and facing a significant, immediate and direct threat to the life or safety of the applicant or any household member for causes other than the fault of the applicant or member of the applicant’s household. Applicants are homeless and facing a significant, immediate and direct threat to life or safety if they are in any of the situations described in Subsection A(2) above, Causes other than the fault of the applicant or member of the applicant’s household shall include causes outside their reasonable control. The applicant must have made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing and must have pursued all reasonably available means of preventing or avoiding the safety or life-threatening situation.
(2) Severe medical emergencies. An applicant is suffering a severe medical emergency if the applicant or a household member is determined by the Authority to suffer from an illness or injury posing a severe and medically documented threat to life or safety which has been significantly caused by the lack of suitable housing or as to which the lack of suitable housing is a substantial impediment to treatment or recovery. The applicant must have made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing and must have pursued all reasonably available means of preventing or avoiding the safety or life-threatening situation.
(3) Abusive situation. An applicant is in an abusive situation if the applicant or a household member is determined by the Authority:
(a) To be a victim of abuse as defined in the Abuse Prevention Act (MGL C. 209A, -1), which abuse constitutes a significant and direct threat to life or safety;
(b) To have exhausted all reasonably available means of avoiding or alleviating the threat, including seeking assistance through the courts, administrative and enforcement agencies; and
(c) To have made sincere efforts to locate alternative housing.
(1) Emergency case applications shall be handled using the same application procedures, determination of eligibility procedures, verification procedures and appeal procedures as standard applicants.
(2) In view of the nature of emergency cases, the Authority shall make every reasonable effort to process emergency case applications promptly and to make prompt determinations of eligibility or ineligibility. If the applicant is found to be eligible but not to qualify for emergency case status, he/she shall be treated as a standard applicant.
‘B. Placement. When an applicant has been determined by the tenant selection staff to qualify as an emergency case applicant, the applicant shall be offered the next appropriate and available unit, in accordance with priority ranking of 760 CMR 5.08(1) and the preference ranking of 760 CMR 5.08 (2). If no appropriate unit is then available, the applicant shall remain as an emergency case priority on the waiting list for each appropriate housing program and bedroom size. If the Authority determines that an applicant accorded emergency case status but not yet offered a unit has obtained permanent housing suitable for his/her household size and income, the applicant shall no longer be considered an emergency case applicant and shall remain on the appropriate waiting lists as a standard applicant.
C. Records. The Authority shall maintain complete records with regard to emergency case applicants.
D. Relationship to affirmative action goals. If the Authority or Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) at any time determines that the number of applicants granted emergency case status substantially interferes with the achievement by the Authority of its affirmative action goals, then this plan shall be revised, upon public notice and in conformity with DHCD requirements, to maintain a proper balance between emergency case and affirmative action applicants.
Fair Housing Policy
It is the policy of the Framingham Housing Authority (FHA) to assure equal opportunity in housing and all the benefits and services related thereto all persons of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians), pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18 and disability, and to abide by all Federal and State Statutes prohibiting discrimination.
Federal and State Laws include the following:
- Executive Order 11063: Equal Opportunity in Housing Title 8, Civil Rights Act of 1968 as amended by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.
- Article XIII of the Governor’s Code of Fair Practices;
- Executive order No. 74 as amended and revised by No:116 Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151B: Administrative Bulletin 75-14 and the portions of other statutes prohibiting discrimination.
No applicant or current resident shall…on the grounds of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age; religion, welfare status, children, marital status, handicapped related condition(s), or sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any FHA program or policy related to Housing.
The FHA will abide by equal opportunity housing requirements in the administration of its programs. The FHA will apprise participants in programs of applicable federal, state and local laws relative to fair. housing. Any applicant or participant who believes that he/she is the vict that discrimination has prevented the family from leasing, they will be directed to contact HUD or MCAD.
The FHA will make reasonable accommodations as required by law for the handicapped/disabled person(s) to promote the objective of providing equal access to and opportunity for participation in FHA programs.
Hazardous Substance Disposal Procedure
The Framingham Housing Authority from time to time uses minimal hazardous materials in the maintenance of public housing units. Paint, drain cleaner and other materials are generally fully consumed on various projects. In a few circumstances substances may be disposed of; primarily paint thinner and mineral spirits.
PROCEDURE FOR DISPOSAL
All hazardous substances requiring disposal shall be placed in metal one-gallon containers, clearly marked with name of the substance, and delivered to the Town of Framingham Dept. of Public Works for proper disposal by the town.
The Framingham Housing Authority shall periodically hold in-service training for employees in the proper disposal of hazardous substances.
Integrated Pest Management
The Framingham Housing Authority will use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies to prevent and address pest problems within our properties to maintain safe, healthy environments for residents and staff, and minimize harm to the environment. Our IPM approach uses pest proofing strategies, trash management, maintenance/housekeeping, and limited and targeted use of the least hazardous pesticides based on need to prevent and control pest issues. Excluding bed-bug treatments or the use of insect growth regulators, routine application of pesticide sprays, foggers or bombs, and organophosphate or chlorinated hydrocarbons pesticides are not permitted. Maintenance staff, pest professionals and resident services staff will coordinate to prevent and respond to pest problems. Pest professionals shall have IPM training or certification.
The IPM program will involve a baseline and annual inspection of units and common areas; monitoring of pest activity in interior and exterior spaces to guide responses; and development of building specific IPM plans. IPM plans will be reviewed annually with the pest professional and will describe:
- Pest focus areas and recommended treatment responses including maintenance repairs, removal of pest droppings, housekeeping needs, and selected and targeted use of the least hazardous pesticides;
- Preventative maintenance or trash management;
- Ongoing monitoring; and
- Record-keeping to track treatments and related repairs.
At unit turnover maintenance staff shall inspect for evidence of pest activity, seal holes and cracks with pest proof materials, and report evidence of pest activity to the pest professional.
This policy emphasizes prompt, multifaceted action to identify, prevent, and treat problems. Resident awareness and support of this policy will help ensure its success. This policy may be amended by the Framingham Housing Authority to reflect new techniques, changes in OSHA, EPA or Contractual agreements as needed.
Please note that the following is not part of the IPM Policy it is procedural guidelines for the contractor to be used in procuring any new IPM Contracts
It is the current procedure of the Framingham Housing Authority to follow the following guidelines Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles and practices to eliminate pest problems and maintain healthy, safe environments for residents and maintenance staff. IPM targets the underlying causes of pest infestations by depriving pests of food, water, shelter, and building access. Through pest proofing strategies, pest aware maintenance practices, trash management, and selected and targeted use of the least hazardous pesticides based on need, our IPM procedure puts the needs and safety of residents and property staff as the foremost priority.
All properties will have an IPM Plan and an onsite IPM Coordinator. All pest vendors shall be IPM certified or trained. Elements of the procedure include:
A. Baseline Pest Inspection and Inspection Report
B. Property Specific IPM Plan
C. Regular Inspections, Monitoring & Record-keeping
D. Resident Engagement
E. Limited and Targeted Use of Pesticides
F. Pest Specific Protocols
IPM Procedure Elements
1. Baseline Pest Inspection and Inspection Report
An initial baseline pest inspection of all interior and exterior areas shall be completed by our approved IPM trained pest professional. The IPM professional shall inspect all apartments, common areas, basements, utility rooms, management offices, maintenance shops and storage, and building exteriors. A member of our maintenance staff must accompany the pest contractor during the inspection.
The results of the initial inspection shall be documented in a report or included in the IPM plan described below. Results include: areas inspected; pest activity observed (type and location of pests, and level of infestation); problem areas; number and placement of monitoring traps; activities and conditions in the building which are contributing to existing and potential pest problems (i.e., pest related maintenance needs and housekeeping concerns); and any other information gathered during the inspection (including any inspection reports).
2. Property Specific IPM Plan and Record-keeping
Each property shall have a property specific written IPM plan prepared by our approved IPM trained pest professional. The pest professional will update the plan at least annually. The Maintenance Supervisor/IPM Coordinator must review the IPM Plan and approve it, or work with the pest professional to revise the plan based on site-specific needs. The pest professional will maintain the IPM Plan and all records. The IPM plan will include:
1. Description of problem areas and focus units (i.e., active or historic pest problems), using the result of the baseline inspection.
2. Inspection schedule, with a minimum of annual inspections.
3. Monitoring strategies in areas with active infestations, pest evidence or conditions potentially leading to infestation, and new pest evidence.
4. Service schedule and pest control activities, including sealing pest entry holes/cracks; removing pests, debris, food and dust with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuuming and steam cleaners or wet cleaning methods; and pesticide applications consistent with this procedure.
5. Recommended maintenance, trash management or structural repairs.
6. Resident housekeeping issues and recommended responses, including resident education.
7. Record-keeping, including dated treatment log identifying dates of visits, record of monitoring device results, actions taken, pesticides applied, and problem apartments or locations.
8. Pest inspection procedures for maintenance staff during unit turnover.
9. Referral process between pest vendor and maintenance staff or property management (See tracking log in Attachment C).
3. Regular Inspections, Monitoring, Record-keeping
1. The pest vendor shall at a minimum, visually inspect all properties (interior and exterior areas mentioned above) on an annual basis.
2. The pest vendor shall deploy pest monitoring equipment as needed, consistent with the IPM Plan. (See #6 below: Pest Specific Protocols).
3. Maintenance staff shall accompany the pest vendor on all inspections.
4. The pest vendor shall maintain an IPM treatment log specified in the IPM Plan and records to document coordination with maintenance and residence services staff. All records must accessible to maintenance supervisors/IPM Coordinator.
5. At each unit turnover, maintenance staff shall inspect for evidence of pest activity, seal holes and cracks with pest proof materials, and report evidence of pest activity to the pest vendor.
6. Maintenance staff responding to work order requests shall look for evidence of pest activity and report such activity to the pest vendor.
4. Resident Engagement
a. Maintenance Supervisor/IPM Coordinator shall provide written notice to residents of pest vendor inspections, services or appointments, or the intent to apply to pesticides ideally 48 hours (at a minimum 24 hours), in advance.
b. Maintenance Supervisor/IPM Coordinator shall provide residents with instructions on how to prepare their units for treatment or service.
c. If beg bug treatment is scheduled, maintenance staff will inspect unit to confirm that the unit is ready for treatment.
2. Resident Engagement
a. Working in coordination with pest vendor, the Property Manager/IPM Coordinator will at least annually provide educational materials to residents in each unit.
b. The Property Manager/IPM Coordinator in conjunction with any Resident Services Coordinator, will hold resident meetings in properties with ongoing pest challenges.
c. Residents will work with the pest vendor and maintenance staff to reinforce resident housekeeping practices and reporting of pest problems.
5. Limited and Targeted Pesticide Use
1. The pest vendor will only apply pesticides based on need and not by schedule.
2. To minimize risk the pest vendor will use the least hazardous materials, with the most precise application technique.
3. The pest vendor will only apply pesticide products or product categories (e.g., baits, gels, or dusts for cockroaches) included in the IPM Plan and approved by the Property Manager/IPM Coordinator.
4. The pest vendor is prohibited from using foggers or bombs, organophosphate or chlorinated hydrocarbons, or broadcast or baseboard spray applications (unless it is an insect growth regulator or the pesticide is needed to address bedbug infestations).
5. If it is necessary to vary from the above procedures, the pest vendor will request written approval from the Property Manager/IPM Coordinator.
6. Pest Specific Control Protocols Pest vendors shall follow pest specific protocols (insect, rodent, bed bug) described in the approved IPM plan and listed below.
1. Insect Control
a. Only apply insecticides as “crack and crevice” treatments.
b. For cockroaches, the preferred treatments are baits, gels, growth regulators, and boric acid. Roach bait gels will be odorless, non-volatile and will not produce airborne particles. They will be designed for use in sensitive areas and residents will not need to remove edibles or dishes from cabinets or vacate premises during application. Old, dried gel baits will be removed before application of fresh bait.
c. During each service visit, special attention will be paid to kitchen and bath areas, including spaces beneath sinks, counters, appliances, etc.
d. If use of insect growth regulators sprays are needed, the pest vendor will obtain approval from the site Maintenance Supervisor prior to any application of insecticide to an exposed surface or application of a spray treatment. Pest vendor will ensure resident and employee safety and employ necessary precautions for the containment of the pesticide to the site of application.
e. Sticky traps will be used to monitor activity and evaluate indoor insect control efforts where necessary.
2. Rodent Control
a. Traps are the first method of indoor rodent control. Traps will be out of general view and in protected areas so as not to be affected by routine cleaning and other operations. Pest vendor will check trapping devices on a schedule in the approved IPM Plan. All trapped rodents and all rodent carcasses will be disposed of in an appropriate manner. b. Obtain approval from the Site Maintenance Supervisor before rodenticide use. Use only when deemed essential and to supplement structural or mechanical controls. All rodenticides (regardless of packaging) shall be placed either in locations not accessible to children, pets, wildlife, and domestic animals or in EPA-approved tamper-resistant bait boxes. All such bait boxes shall be labeled with the pest vendors name and address and dated by the pest vendor at the time of installation and at each follow-up service.
i. All bait stations should be numbered and their location marked on a simple floor plan map. The pest professional should leave a copy of the map along with the pesticide’s label with the building manager.
ii. Bait stations should be inspected during every service visit for monitoring purposes and to ensure stations are not providing harborage to non-target pests.
3. Bed Bug Control
a. Confirm bed bugs visually. Inspections should target mattresses, sheets, box springs, bed frames and headboards, as well as other furniture or bed bug harborage areas.
b. Use moat style traps or interceptors to monitor activity around beds (used on bed legs) or other furniture. Failure to trap a bed bug does not always confirm lack of activity.
c. Certified canine teams can be effective in detecting bed bugs. Visual confirmation is also required.
d. Work with maintenance staff and management to address clutter or housekeeping.
e. Mattress and box spring encasements are recommended.
f. Treatments may include: vacuuming with HEPA filter to reduce heaving infestations (not sufficient by itself) used in conjunction with steam, heat (must reach 122° F), targeted insecticides, and/or diatomaceous earth (DE) around the interior perimeter of the unit (under baseboards, in wall voids, in drop ceilings, behind faceplates and other locations as necessary). Often a second treatment is needed.
g. Monitor units abutting/surrounding focus/treated unit.
h. Discarding furniture or bedding is generally not necessary. Wrap and removed furniture or bedding in plastic and label as bed bug infested.
i. Re-inspect no sooner than two weeks post treatment to allow for new eggs to hatch.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Policy
The Department of Justice (DOJ) requested that every Federal funded Agency take steps to implement a plan, as requested by Executive Order 13166.
The purpose of this plan is to assist Framingham Housing Authority (FHA) staff in providing meaningful access to F.H.A’s programs and activities by persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). FHA is committed to complying with federal requirements in providing free meaningful access for its LEP clients. No LEP client will be denied access to an FHA program because the client does not speak English or communicates in English on a limited basis.
B. DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Client – A client is a persons who:
a.) is an applicant for public housing, Section 8, homeownership and other FHA programs;
b.) is a recipient of public housing, Section 8, homeownership and other FHA programs;
c.) may be eligible for FHA’s programs but is underserved and may benefit from an outreach program.
2. Effective Communication – Effective communications occurs when FHA staff has taken reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to an LEP client. Effective communication also means that the LEP client is able to provide and receive required or necessary information.
3. Interpretation – Interpretation means the oral or spoken transfer of a message from one language into another language.
4. Language Assistance – Language assistance includes interpretation and translation. FHA has the sole discretion to determine whether to provide the language assistance in the form of interpretation or translation.
5. Limited English Proficiency (LEP) – A person who does not speak English as their primary language and who has a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English may be limited English proficient (LEP) and may be entitled to language assistance with respect to a particular program, benefit or right, The focus is on the client’s lack of English proficiency. A client who proficiently speaks English is not a LEP client.
6. Meaningful Access – Meaningful access is free language assistance in compliance with federal requirements. FHA’s goal is to provide meaningful access to FHA’s programs and services by LEP persons in a manner that balances the following four factors:
a.) The number of or proportion of LEP persons eligible to be served or likely to be encountered by FHA.
b.) The frequency with which FHA comes into contact with a particular language. FHA’s daily contact with a particular language may require more language service, than sporadic contact.
c.) The nature and importance of the program, activity or service to the person’s life. A compulsory activity is evidence of importance. For example, voluntary attendance at a resident meeting does not have the same importance as the application and termination process for public housing and Section 8 participation.
d.) FHA’s resources and the cost of providing meaningful access. Reasonable steps may cease to be reasonable where the costs imposed substantially exceed the benefits. FHA determines the budget for language assistance.
- Translation – Translation means the written transfer of a message from one language into another language.
- OFFER OF FREE LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE
FHA staff will offer the opportunity for meaningful access to LEP clients who have difficulty communication in English. If a client asks for language assistance and FHA determines that the client is LEP and that language assistance is necessary to provide meaningful access, FHA will make reasonable efforts to provide free language assistance; if reasonably possible, FHA will provide the language assistance in the LEP client’s preferred language.
D. LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE
- Mix of Language Assistance FHA has substantial flexibility in determining the type of language assistance necessary to provide meaningful access. Meaningful access should be at a time and place that avoids the effective denial of the program or an undue burden or delay in the rights, benefits or services to the LEP person.
2. Translation of Documents where 5% of FHA’s public housing tenants or Section 8 recipients are LEP persons and speak a specific language, FHA will translate the public housing lease and selected mass mailings and documents of vital importance in that language.
3. Formal Interpreters
Formal interpreters include FHA bilingual staff and contract vendors.
b. Formal interpreters shall be used at the:
1) formal hearing for denial of admission to public housing;
2) informal settlement conferences and formal hearing for termination of public housing;
3) nondisclosure hearing for Section 8 participation; and
4) termination hearing for Section 8 participation.
c. A FHA Staff interpreter may not be a subordinate to the person making the decision.
4. Informal Interpreters
Informal interpreters may include the family members, friends, legal guardians, service representative or advocates of the LEP client. Informal interpreters may be appropriate depending upon the circumstances and subject matter. However in many circumstances, infornal interpreters, especially children, are not competent to provide quality and accurate interpretations, there may be issues of confidentiality, competency or conflict of interest.
b. An LEP person may use an informal interpreter of their own choosing and expense in place of or as a supplement to the free language assistance offered by FHA. If possible, FHA should accommodate a LEP client’s request to have an informal interpreter. In these cases the client and interpreter should sign a waiver of free interpreter services.
c. FHA may risk noncompliance if it requires, suggests, or encourage a LEP client to use an informal interpreter.
d. If a LEP client prefers an informal interpreter, after FHA has offered free interpreter services, the informal interpreter may interpret.
e. If a LEP client wants an informal interpreter, FHA may also have a formal interpreter present.
a. Outside Resources may include community volunteers and FHA residents or Section 8 participants.
b. Outside Resources may be used for interpretive services public or informal meetings or events.
6. Emergency Situations
Any interpreter may be used in an emergency situation. FHA should first respond to the emergency and follow-up with language assistance as appropriate. Document use of Interpreter; FHA staff will document in the LEP client’s file or record when an interpreter is used during the application process to a FHA program or during a public housing grievance procedure.
GUIDELINES FOR USING AN INTERPRETER
1. State the purpose of your communication and describe the type of information you may convey.
2. Enunciate your words and avoid contractions such as “can’t” which can be easily misunderstood. Instead say, “cannot”.
3. Speak in short sentences, expressing one idea at a time and allow the information to be interpreted.
4. Avoid the use of double negatives, e.g., “If you don’t appear in person, you won’t get your benefits.” Instead say, “You must come in person in order to get your benefits.”
5. Speak to the LEP client and not to the interpreter.
6. Avoid using slang.
7. Provide brief explanations of technical terms or terms of art, such as recertification, income disregard and minimum rent.
8. Occasionally ask if the interpreter understands the information or if you should slow down or speed up your speech. If the interpreter is confused, the client may also be confused.
9. Occasionally ask if the LEP client understands the information. You may have to repeat or clarify some information by saying it in a different way.
10. Be patient and thank the interpreter.
NOTICE OF FREE LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE FOR FHA BUSINESS
1. Applications for public housing and Section 8 participation will ask applicants if they are LEP and need language assistance for FHA business.
2. The letter informing clients about recertification will state that clients may contact their eligibility technician to request free language assistance for FHA business.
3. Each denial to public housing, lease termination and denial of Section 8 participation will state that the client may contact FHA for free language assistance about the action taken.
4. The public housing monthly rental statement will state that a tenant may contacttheir property manager for free language assistance for FHA business.
5. FHA will determine on what other occasions to give notice that a client may request free language assistance for FHA business.
6. FHA will make a language identification flashcard available to staff.
- PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL DATA
- FHA Bilingual Staffing, Federal and State law requires FHA to protect private or confidential data.
2. Contract Language Assistance Vendors, Contract language assistance vendors will sign a “State and Federal Data Privacy Statement” form as part of the contract document
3. Informal Interpreters, when using informal interpreters FHA should have the informal interpreter and client sign a “Waiver of Free Interpretive Services” form.
- COLLECTION OF LANGUAGE INFORMATION
- The application for public housing and Section 8 shall ask the LEP to client identify their language.
2. FHA will keep track of those being served by our programs.
- FHA STAFF TRAINING
- FHA will make the LEP Plan available to staff.
2. FHA will inform new employees in the New Employee Orientations of FHA’s duty to offer free language assistance in compliance with federal requirements.
3. FHA Staff who have ongoing contact with LEP clients will attend LEP training.
- LEP training will include the following:
- FHA’s duty to offer free language assistance in compliance with federal requirements;
- The substance of FHA’S LEP Plan;
c. How to document a client’s language needs; and
d. Identity of the LEP Manager, bilingual staff and contract interpreters.
Periodically, the FHA will review the LEP Plan. We will monitor our LEP policies and practices to ensure that they continue to be effective. A summary report from all the number of FHA clients who are LEP.
- A determination as to whether 5% of FHA’s clients speak a specific language requiring the translation of documents as provided in Part D-2 listed above.
- LEP PLAN DISTRIBUTION AND PUBLIC POSTING
The LEP Plan will be:
- Distributed to all FHA supervisors and posted in the Board. 2. Available in FHA Management Offices and the Section 8 Department.
STANDARD OF CARE
The LEP Plan does not create a standard of care, a covenant of habitability or any right to third parties of FHA clients. The Plan does not enlarge FHA’s duty under any law, regulation or ordinance, In cases of conflict, the applicable law, regulation or ordinance shall prevail. The Plan is a general guideline as to a standard of care to which FHA aspires.
On March 11, 2013 the Board of Commissioners voted to implement a NON-SMOKING policy for all of its Housing programs, The Housing Authority desires to mitigate
1) the irritation and known health effects of Secondhand smoke.
2) the increased maintenance, cleaning and redecorating costs from smoke
3) the increased risk of fire from smoking and
4) the higher costs of fire insurance for a non-smoke free building.
It is the policy of the Framingham Housing Development Corporation Il that smoking is prohibited within individual apartments, interior hallways/common areas/community rooms/community bathrooms/lobbies/reception areas/ stairways, offices and elevators and all outside properties owned by the Authority.
The Non-Smoking policy is intended to apply to anyone on the premises; all residents are responsible to notify their guests, visitors, service personnel and employees of the policy.
The policy will be implemented through lease addendums upon renewals of each development.
In connection with this policy the Framingham Housing Development Corporation 11 supports residents who wish to stop smoking and will provide information to enable residents to connect with smoking cessation programs and information.
NON-SMOKING LEASE ADDENDUM
- Purpose of Non-Smoking Policy. The parties desire to mitigate
(i) the irritation and health effects of second-hand smoke;
(ii) the increased maintenance, cleaning and redecorating costs from smoking;
(iii) the increased risk of fire from smoking; and
(iv) the higher costs of fire insurance for a non-smoke-free building.
- Definition of Smoking
The term “smoking’s means inhaling, exhaling, breathing, or carrying or possessing any lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other tobacco product or similar lighted product in any manner or in any force.
- Non-Smoking Area
Resident agrees and acknowledges that the premises to be occupied by Resident and members of Resident’s household and any interior common areas, including but not limited to community rooms, community bathrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, laundry rooms, stairways, offices and elevators, within all living units, including entry ways, porches, balconies and patios have been designated as Non-smoking living environment. Resident and members of Resident’s household shall not smoke anywhere in said Non-Smoking Area, including in the unit rented by Resident, the building where Resident’s dwelling is located, or in any of the common areas or grounds of Such building including the steps, patios or yards, nor shall Resident permit any guests or visitors under the control of Resident to smoke in said Non-Smoking Area.
- Resident to Promote Non-Smoking Policy and to Alert Landlord of Violations
Resident shall inform Resident’s guests of the non-smoking policy. Further, Resident shall promptly give Landlord a written statement of any incident where tobacco smoke is migrating into the Resident’s unit from sources outside of the Resident’s unit.
- Landlord to Promote Non-Smoking Policy
Landlord shall post no-smoking signs at entrances and exits, in common areas, and in conspicuous places adjoining the grounds of the Non-Smoking Area.
- Landlord Not a Guarantor of Smoke-Free Environment.
Resident acknowledges that Landlord’s adoption of a non-smoking living environment does not make the Landlord or any of its managing agents the guarantor of Resident’s health or of the non smoking condition of the Resident’s unit and the common areas. However, Landlord shall take reasonable steps to enforce the non-smoking terms of its leases and to make the Non-Smoking Area as smoke-free as it is reasonably possible. Landlord is not required to take steps in response to smoking unless Landlord knows of said smoking or has been given written notice of said smoking.
- Effect of Breach and Right to Terminate Lease
A breach of this Lease Addendum shall give each party all the rights contained herein, as well as the rights contained in the Lease. A material or continuing breach of this Addendum shall be a material breach of the Lease and grounds for termination of the Lease by the Landlord. Tenant acknowledges that the remedy for smoking within the apartment may be the assessment of a charge of up to two hundred-fifty dollars ($250.00) for each smoking incident.
rges will be used by the FHA toward the cost of refurbishing the apartment.
- Disclaimer by Landlord
Resident acknowledges that Landlord’s adoption of a non smoking living environment does not in any way change the standard of care that the Landlord or managing agent would have to a resident household to render buildings and premises designated as non-smoking any safer, more habitable, or improved in terms of air quality standards than any other rental premises. Landlord specifically disclaims and implies or expresses warranties that the building, common areas, or Resident’s premises will have any higher or improved air quality standards other than any other rental property. Landlord cannot and does not warrant or propose that the rental premises or common area wil be free from secondhand smoke. Resident acknowledges that Landlord’s ability to police, monitor, or enforce the agreements of Addendum is dependent in significant part on voluntary compliance by Resident and Resident’s guests, as well as by other residents and guests in other parts of the Non-Smoking Area. Residents with respiratory ailments, allergies, or any other physical or mental conditions relating to smoke are put on notice that Landlord does not assume any to enforce this Addendum other than any other landlord obligation under the lease.
This notice strongly encourages Public Housing Authorities (PHAS) to implement non-smoking policies in some or all of their public housing units. According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease in the United States. The elderly and young populations, as well as people with chronic illnesses, are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of smoking. This concern was recently addressed by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, P.L. 111-31, signed by the President on June 22, 2009. Because Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) can migrate between units in multifamily housing, causing respiratory illness, heart disease, cancer, and other adverse health effects in neighboring families, the Department is encouraging PHAS to adopt non-smoking policies. By reducing the public health risks associated with tobacco use, this notice will enhance the effectiveness of the Department’s efforts to provide increased public health protection for residents of public housing. Smoking is also an important source of fires and fire-related deaths and injuries. Currently, there is no Departmental guidance on smoking in public housing.
This notice applies to Public Housing.
Secondhand smoke, which is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is the smoke that comes from the fuming end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar, and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers. ETS is involuntarily inhaled by nonsmokers, and can cause or worsen adverse health effects, including cancer, respiratory infections and asthma. The 2006 Surgeon General’s report on secondhand smoke identifies hundreds of chemicals in it that are known to be toxic. The report (The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Secondhand Smoke) is located at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data statistics/sgr/index.htm Secondhand smoke causes almost 50,000 deaths in adult non-smokers in the United States each year, including approximately 3,400 from lung cancer and another 22,000 to 69,000 from heart disease.
Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) http://www.epa.gov/smoke free/heaitheffects.html
There are over 1.2 million residents who reside in public housing Residents between the ages of 0-17 represent 39 percent of public housing residents. Elderly residents over the age of 62 represent 15 percent of public housing residents. That accounts for at least 54 percent of public housing residents that could be at increased risk to the adverse effects of cigarette smoking. There are also a considerable number of residents with chronic diseases such as asthma and cardiovascular disease who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ETS. Secondhand smoke lingers in the air hours after cigarettes have been extinguished and can migrate between units in multifamily buildings.
Based on data from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) of the Department of Homeland Security, there were an estimated 18,700 smoking- material fires in homes in 2006. These fires caused 700 civilian deaths (other than firefighters’), and 1,320 civilian injuries, and $496 million in direct property damage http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/OS.Smoking.pdf In multifamily buildings, smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths: 26 percent of fire deaths in 2005
downloads/pdf/publications Residential Structure and Building Fires.pdf
- Policy Discretion
PHAg are permitted and strongly encouraged to implement a non-smoking policy at their discretion, subject to state and local law. Some PHAs have established smoke-free buildings. Some PHAs have continued to allow current residents who stroke to continue to do so, but only in designated areas and only until lease renewal or a date established by the PHA. Some PHAs are prohibiting smoking for new residents. According to a state-funded anti-smoking group, the Smoke-Free Environment Law Project of the Center for Social Gerontology, there are over 112 PHAs and housing commissions across the country that have implemented non smoking policies. PHAI should consult with their resident boards before adopting non-smoking policies at their projects,
- PHA Plang
PHAs opting to implement a non-smoking policy should update their PHA plans. According to 24 CFR 903.7(e), their plan must include their statement of operation and management and the rules and standards that will apply to their projects when the PHA implements their non-smoking policy. PHAs are encouraged to revise their lease agreements to include the non-smoking provisions. If PHAs institute non-smoking policies, they should ensure that there is consistent application among all projects and buildings in their housing inventory in which non-smoking policies are being implemented.
- Indoor Air Quality (IAD)
According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), toxin free building materials used in green buildings help combat indoor air pollution. Good IAQ includes minimizing indoor pollutants. As discussed above, ETS is known to be an indoor air pollutant; as a result it would be difficult for a PHA to achieve good IAQ in its buildings if residents are allowed to smoke, especially indoors. During construction or renovation of projects, PHAs should consider actions such as installing direct vent combustion equipment and fireplaces; providing for optimal, controlled, filtered ventilation and air sealing between living areas and garage or mechanical areas, and the use of paints and other materials that emit no or low levels of volatile chemicals (volatile organic compounds or VOCs). Since 65 percent of the public housing inventory was built prior to 1970, it would be hard for a PHA to implement retrofits that could improve IAQ significantly, unless renovation was scheduled. Also, if a PHA does conduct renovations to improve IAQ without also implementing a non-smoking policy, the LAQ benefits of the renovation would not be fully realized. A non-smoking policy is an excellent approach for those PHAS that are trying to achieve improved LAQ without the retrofit costs.
It is well known that turnover costs are increased when apartments are vacated by smokers. Additional paint to cover smoke stains, cleaning of the ducts, replacing stained window blinds, or replacing carpets that have been damaged by cigarettes can increase the cost to make a unit occupant ready.
- Smoking Cessation National Support
Because tobacco smoking is an addictive behavior, PHA3 that implement non-smoking policies should provide residents with information on local smoking cessation resources and programs. Local and state health departments are sources of information on smoking cessation; see the American Lung Association’s (ALA’s) Web page on State Tobacco Cessation Coverage http://www.lungusa2.org/cessation2, for information on cessation programs, both public and private, in all States and the District of Columbia, The National Cancer Institute’s Smoking Quit Line can be called toll free at 877-44U-QUIT (877-448-7848). Hearing or speech-challenged individuals may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. PHAS that implement non-smoking policies should similarly be persistent in their efforts to support smoking cessation programs for residents, adapting their efforts as needed to local conditions.
- Further Information
For further information related to this notice, please contact Dina Elani, Director, Office of Public Housing Management and Occupancy Division at (202) 402-2071.
Sandra B, Henriquez Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing
Ton L. Gant, Director, Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control
NO SMOKING POLICY ENFORCEMENT
1st violation- verbal warning followed by cessation materiais
2nd violation- verbal warning followed by smoking cessation materials and referral to the Resident Service Coordinator.
3rd violation- written warning letter with smoking cessation materials and a referral to the Resident Service Coordinator.
4th violation- 30 day termination notice with option to remedy and referral to Resident Service Coordinator.
5th violation- 10 day termination notice.
No Trespass Notice
PROCEDURES FOR SERVING A NO TRESPASS NOTICE
The Framingham Housing Authority (FHA) is committed to providing a .. safe environment for our residents and employees, and this often requires dealing with nonresidents. Section 9 and 10 demonstrate two tools that may effectively assist the FHA in successfully keeping nonresidents who are dangerous or interfere with the quiet enjoyment of FHA, residents out of FHA developments, One tool is to serve a No Trespass Notice (Attachment 1), and the second is a 121B Restraining Order. Each method has its own unique requirements and consequences. This section discusses the necessary steps to successfully secure a No Trespass Notice.
- NO TRESPASS NOTICE
By law, a No Trespass Notice can be verbal or written notification to a nonresident that informs the individual that he/she must stay off FHA property. Pursuant to these procedures, notice should be in writing. The notice (Attachment 1) is given to the nonresident by the FHA or its designee pursuant to M.G..LL. Ch. 266, § 120. This notice can subject the individual to arrest and prosecution if he/she refuses to leave or stay off FHA property.
- Deciding to Serve a No Trespass Notice
It is FHA policy that only FHA employees, FHA contractors, and their employees, and FHA residents are allowed on FHA common areas. Also permitted on FHA common areas are the invited guests of these stated individuals, as well as those required to be allowed on FHA property to exercise their First Amendment free speech rights. However, in certain cases it is appropriate to reinforce that policy by giving explicit notice to a nonresident that he/she is not welcome on FHA common areas.
FHA needs a valid reason to serve an individual with a No Trespass Notice. Reasons for FHA to serve a No Trespass Notice include any acts that would constitute a lease violation if the individual were a resident. Such an example of a reason to serve a No Trespass Notice is the individual is disturbing the quiet enjoyment of FHA residents. Service of a No Trespass Notice is also warranted if the FHA is aware that the individual has engaged in criminal activity on or off FHA property, or if the FHA has received an enforceable permanent or long-term restraining order (other than under 121B, 832C) prohibiting contact with an FHA resident or employee. The FHA can also issue a No Trespass Notice to a squaiter (See Squatter Eviction Section 11). A Framingham police officer may serye a No Trespass
Notice on a nonresident in the same circumstances that the FHA can. If a Framingham police officer does so, he/she must give copies of the notice to the FHA.
A space has been provided in Attachment 1, indicating the FHA’s reasons for serving the notice, and must be filled out before anyone serves the individual. Once Attachment 1 is complete, it must be served on the individual, and service is crucial. It is important to emphasize that the FHA must fill out the certificate of service.
It is important to stress that only nonresidents are subject to No Trespass Notices. If the individual is a resident or an authorized member of the Resident’s family
n he/she may not be served with a No Trespass Notice. If such person’s conduct amounts to a lease violation the issue must be dealt with by the FHA procedures for cause evictions (See Chapter II for the relevant cause section).
- Grievance Possibilities
Individuals served with a No Trespass Notice do not have a right to grieve the notice, nor is the FHA required to meet with the individual. If the individual requests to meet with the FHA it would be prudent to do so. The meeting can serve to strengthen any future case against the individual or the FHA may come to a mutually acceptable compromise with the individual. The FHA should keep in mind that any meeting is strictly discretionary. If the FHA determines to have a meeting with the individual, the FHA should take notes of the meeting including the time, date, place, individuals present, and decision as to how to proceed. The meeting will be attended by two (2) representatives of the FHA. All notices and notes regarding No Trespass Notices, should be kept by the FHA in a separate, easily accessible file.
- Violation of the No Trespass Notice
Once and individual has been served with a No Trespass Notice and he/she refuses to leave the premises or he/she returns to the property, her/she is in violation of the No Trespass Notice, and has committed a crime. If the FHA is uncertain whether the individual has received the written notice, the FHA should give the individual a verbal notice and a new written No Trespass Notice. The individual must be told to leave the premises or risk of being treated as a trespasser. FHA will contact the police department to enforce the No Trespass Notice.
There are several potential outcomes once the police are called. If the police come to the scene and the individual is still on the property, the police may arrest him/her immediately. The police may also ask the individual to leave the area and issue a summons to him/her to appear in District Court at a future date. If the police do not arrest the individual, the FHA may complete a formal criminal complaint to have the matter prosecuted. The criminal complaint form can be obtained at the local District Court. If the individual is not on the premises when the police arrive, the police cannot arreșt the individual unless there has been a felony committed along with the trespass. The FHA must then file a criminal complaint to insure prosecution for the trespass.
Prosecuting a No Trespass Notice is a criminal matter, and would be handled by the local District Attorney’s office. The FHA must be prepared to provide the District Attorney’s office with all the reasons a No Trespass Notice was issued, and names of witnesses to the trespass and the service of the No Trespass Notice. The FHA and/or the witness(es) must be prepared to testify if the individual is to be kept off of FHA property. This may take several court appearances, with very limited results the first few times. However, if the FHA is persistent the District Court will eventually incarcerate the individual.
- Limitations to the No Trespass Notice
A defense an individual may use to avoid prosecution is to claim he/she has a lawful reason to be on the property. The most common reason given is he/she is visiting a resident.
The nonresident does not have the right to see anyone, but a resident does have the right to invite any individual not barred by a restraining order as a guest. Therefore, when an individual who has been served with a No Trespass Notice has been invited to visit by a resident, he/she has a lawful reason to cross the common areas of FHA property solely for the purpose of access to and egress from the resident’s apartment.
It is best for the FHA to discuss with the resident the concerns about why he/she wants the nonresident to stay of FHA property. The resident may agree with the FHA and not allow the person to visit. However, if he/she does not agree and insists on allowing the individual to visit, the FHA’s meeting with the resident will be strong evidence to evict the resident if his/her nonresident guest continues his/her disruptive behavior. The FHA should keep notes of any meeting with a resident in regard to an individual served with a No Trespass Notice. The notes should indicate time, date, place, individuals present, and any decisions as to how to proceed. One copy of the notes should be kept in the resident’s file and the other copy kept with the nonresident’s No Trespass Notice.
FHA Permit Parking:
All Framingham Housing Authority tenants who own a motor vehicle are required to obtain Framingham Housing Authority permit parking sticker. FHA permit parking stickers are issued Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM at the Framingham Housing Authority Office at 1 John J. Brady Drive. Cars parked on Framingham Housing Authority property without an FHA sticker will be ticketed and or towed. To obtain a Framingham Housing Authority sticker you must be a legal member of a Framingham Housing Authority household, and named on the household lease. You must also present a current, valid Massachusetts’s registration showing a Framingham Housing Authority address as the principal place of garaging. Altered registrations are not accepted. The Framingham Housing Authority reserves the right to revoke and to limit the number of parking stickers issued per household, and there must be a licensed operator for each car registered. Some examples as to why an FHA sticker would be revoked are, if the vehicle is unregistered or uninsured, or if a rejection sticker has gone beyond the 60 day limit or there has been unsafe operation.
The currently issued parking sticker MUST be affixed in the location prescribed at the time of issue. The parking permit sticker MUST be affixed to the left rear window or left side of the rear bumper and be clearly visible at all times. If a vehicle is tagged or towed and the parking sticker is the wrong location, the ticket or the tow will remain the responsibility of the owner.
Residents will be notified when a new series of parking stickers is issued. Any resident who moves or cannot read their apartment number on their sticker should have a new sticker issued.
Parking in all lots is first come, first serve, with TWO EXCEPTIONS, The Musterfield Place and Carlson Road developments have one assigned spot per residence. Handicapped parking is also first come first serve with a valid handicap placard or plate.
Visitor parking is only available where posted either by a sign or markings within the parking spot. The Framingham Housing Authority does not have visitor parking at all of our developments, and we do not provide Visitor Cards, At all developments, vehicles will not be ticketed for PERMIT PARKING daily from 7:00am until 6:00pm as to allow residents and service providers the opportunity to conduct daily business. However, vehicles may be ticketed and or towed for other violations. Example: Parking in a reserved spot assigned to a resident in the two developments with assigned parking, Musterfield Place and Carlson Road. After 6:00pm, vehicles may be ticketed and or towed for permit parking violations. Unless, the visitor is parked in a designated visitor parking spot, or legally parked in a Handicap Spot.
Visitor vehicles which display a Handicapped Plate or Placard are exempt from Framingham Housing Authority permit parking regulations.
Vehicles displaying commercial license plates, insured for commercial use or displaying, words, numbers, or symbols that name or depict attention to a business enterprise, except that of the vehicle manufacture will not be issued a FHA permit, and are not allowed to park on.FHA property including FHA visitor parking spaces. This includes school buses and taxi cabs.
Exceptions may be made to a business registered from an FHA address, Passenger car sized commercial vehicles which are the sole transportation for a family will be issued a parking sticker on a case by case basis.
The Framingham Housing Authority reserves the right to grant temporary permits to upon request. For example, overnight service providers or extended stay guests who have been authorized for stay may be provided permits.
FHA Snow Emergency Regulations:
Residents must be prepared to move their cars when a major weather event is anticipated. This might include snow removal operations or flooding from a hurricane. A Snow Emergency Declaration by the town of Framingham should warn Framingham Housing Authority residents that restrictions are likely to be imposed.
The Framingham Housing Authority will make every effort when conditions allow to notify tenants by posting notices in first floor hallways. The Framingham Housing. Authority reserves the option during MAJOR SNOWSTORMS to request that vehicles be moved to a snow cleared location for purposes of snow removal. In the event that this occurs the Framingham Housing Authority will notify residents. It is advisable to keep an extra set of keys to your vehicle available in your household or with a trusted person in the event you are not available to move your vehicle. This will prevent your vehicle from being towed.
All residents are required to remove the snow from their vehicles within 24 hours after the end of a storm in order to visibly display their FHA permit and to return cars to legal parking spaces when they become available. Maintenance staff ARE NOT authorized to clean snow from any vehicle. Any vehicle not cleaned of snow may be subject to a ticket and or tow.
During periods of construction, residents must be prepared to cooperate with our efforts. to improve our developments. As projects progress, areas will be posted in advance to
w for work or equipment access, Cars parked in a posted area will be towed at the expense of the owner. The Framingham Housing Authority will also attempt to notify residents with flyers in advance of work related restrictions.
We will not “move” cars to other areas, except if emergency conditions do not allow proper notification to be given.
The Framingham Housing Authority does not allow motor vehicle repairs on Framingham Housing Authority property.
No unregistered vehicle or vehicle which the registration is revoked may be parked on Framingham Housing Authority property, Cars must display a valid license plate at all times.
Other Ticketed Violations include but are not limited to the following offenses: Restricted Zone, Facing Wrong Way; Loading Zone; Obstructing Driveway; Traffic Island; Leaving less than 12 Foot Passage; No Stopping; Double Parking; Handicap Ramps and Spots; Crosswalks, Bus Stops, Fire Lanes, and Hydrants ; 20 Feet From Intersection; One Foot From Curb.
Residents should refer to the Town of Framingham Parking policies for definitions of these violations.
Parking in courtyards between buildings or driving on sidewalks is strictly prohibited.
Any car blocking a dumpster at any time is subject to tow.
Parking Ticket Appeal Process:
Any resident who receives a parking ticket has the right to appeal the ticket through the Town of Framingham Traffic and Parking department. Framingham Housing Authority staff is not allowed to conduct hearings. All tickets are payable to the Town of Framingham.
No Trespass Towing Procedure:
All vehicles parked on FHA property between the hours of 6:00 pm and 7:00 am daily are owed for Trespassing on FHA Property (Not being properly permitted or parking in a resident only spot), Fire Lane and Fire Hydrant Violations, Double Parking, Blocking a Dumpster, Being Unregistered and other towable offenses. All vehicles that are parked on FHA property not displaying a valid FHA parking permit sticker and/or not parked in a designated visitor spot are subject to being towed by the designated tow company working for FHA. The vehicles will be towed under a No Trespass Towing Policy.
The designated Tow Company will patrol all FHA properties looking for vehicles in violation of FHA Parking regulations between the hours of 6:00 pm and 7:00 am daily and as called by the Framingham Housing Authority or Framingham Police Department.
Tow Complaint Process:
Any resident who feels that their motor vehicle has been towed in error may contact Framingham Police Liaison Officer at (508) 532-5646. If the motor vehicle was towed in error it will be released at no charge to the tenant.
West Side Towing is the authorized tow-company of the Framingham Housing Authority. Questions or concerns can also be addressed directly with them.
West Side Towing
370 Worcester Street
Wellesley, MA 02482
West Side Towing will be offering the following violation patrol services to the Framingham Housing Authority per our conversation.
- Fire Lanes
- Non Spots
- Double Parked
- Parking Stickers
- Unregistered Vehicles
- Non Road Worthy Vehicles
We will look for these violations daily and enforce the policy between the hours of 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. which you have determined best suits your living communities. We will patrol and monitor the properties for violations and we will document all violations. We will photograph all violations (excluding sticker violations) and email you the pictures directly so that you can have access to the information at all times.
West Side Towing will add signs to the property (at no cost to Framingham House Authority) in order to inform tenants who is providing service.
West Side Towing will also offer discounted service to all tenants who do not have a motor club service.
West Side Towing understands that any of the policies created by Framingham Housing Authority can be changed at any time they see fit.
West Side Towing assumes all responsibility for the safety of each vehicle transported and all of its contents.
West Side Towing is compliant with all state and federal guidelines for towing and follows all local requirements set forth by Framingham Police Department.
West Side Towing will provide discounted towing for all FHA vehicles.
West Side Towing has assessed the properties you requested and here is our evaluation.
- Hastings House – It is our recommendation that we patrol fire lanes and stickers,
- Memorial house — It is our recommendation that we patrol fire lanes and stickers.
- Saint Low St. – It is our recommendation we patrol for fire lanes, handicapped, double parked, non-spots, stickers and cross walks.
- Carlson Rd. – It is our recommendation we patrol for fire lanes, handicapped, double parked, non-spots, stickers and cross walks.
- John J. Brady Drive – it is our recommendation that we patroi fire lanes and stickers.
- The Muster Field – It is our recommendation we patrol for fire lanes, handicapped, double parked, non-spots, stickers and cross walks.
- Rose Kennedy Lane – It is our recommendation that we patrol fire lanes and stickers.
- John J. Gallagher Lane – It is our recommendation that we patrol fire lanes and stickers and unregistered vehicles.
Final assessment on all properties will be determined by Framingham Housing and Officer Sean Riley.
The following is a complete rate sheet for all vehicles and or equipment towed for violating parking rules and regulations created by Framingham Housing Authority. These rates are non-negotiable and to be paid in cash.
Storage …………………………….$35.00 (Per Day)
Commercial Vehicle Storage…….$100.00 (Per Day)
Fuel surcharge ……………………….5.7 %
Drop Fee ……………………………$45.00 (On Scene)
Drop Fee ……………………………… $90.00 (In Transit on Property)
The cost of the vehicle tow ($90.00) does not include any additional costs that may arise do to added work needed in order to transport any vehicle. Those charges will be assessed separately and itemized on the final bill.
Vehicle Storage Locations
The following addresses are the locations where vehicles will be stored after they have been towed for a violation. The Ashland, MA address is the primary location for all vehicles towed and stored. The second location is used as a secondary lot.
West Side Towing
2 Yale Street
Ashland, MA 01721
West Side Towing
350 Irving Street
Framingham, MA 01701
- Any tenant who wishes to keep a companion animal will submit a written request to the Public Housing Manager. Management reserves the right to check references for previous pet ownership. If management feels a pet is inappropriate, management will inform the tenant. Permission for a specific pet will not be unreasonably withheld. A Lease Pet Rider must be signed immediately by the tenant. All pet owners must be able to control their pets via leash, pet carrier or cage.
- A companion animal will be defined as a common household pet, such as a dog, cat, bird, guinea pig, gerbil, hamster, rabbit, fish or turtle. Reptiles, other than turtles, and birds of prey are not household pets. Pets, other than cats and dogs, shall have suitable housing, e.g. cages or aquariums.
No resident shall have more than one pet. A maximum of two birds may be permitted, and in the case of fish, no more than one aquarium with a twenty-gallon capacity shall be allowed.
- The mature size of newly acquired dogs is limited to a weight not to exceed 40. pounds. The size of a dog is not directly related to its desirability as a resident. Each animal shall be taken into consideration for its individual merit, based upon the facilities available.
- Dogs of vicious or aggressive disposition such as Pit Bulls will not be permitted. Due to age and behavioral activities of puppies and kittens, applications for ownership of such young animals shall be more closely reviewed prior to approval.
- All female dogs over the age of six months and all female cats over the age of five months must be spayed. All male dogs over the age of eight months and all male cats over the age of 10 months must be neutered. If health problems prevent such spaying or neutering, a veterinarian’s certificate will be necessary to allow the pet to become a resident of the development, and the exception will be at the Executive Director’s discretion.
- Tenant obligations.
- The pet owner will be responsible for proper pet care: good nutrition, grooming, exercise, flea control, routine veterinary care and yearly inoculations. Dogs and cats must wear identification tags and collars when outside the unit.
- The pet owner is responsible for cleaning up after the pet inside the apartment and anywhere on development property. A “pooper scooper” and disposable plastic bag should be carried by the owner. All wastes will be bagged and disposed of in a receptacle determined by management. Toilets are not designed to handle pet litter. Under no circumstances should any pet debris be deposited in a toilet as blockages will occur.
- Pet blankets and bedding are not to be cleaned or washed in the laundry room for hygienic reasons.
- The pet owner will keep the unit and its patio, if any, clean and free of pet odors, insect infestation, waste and litter and maintain the unit in a sanitary condition at all times.
- The pet owner will restrain and prevent the pet from gnawing, chewing, scratching or otherwise defacing doors, walls, windows and floor coverings of the unit, other units and common areas, as well as shrubs and landscaping of the facility.
- Pets are not to be tied outside without supervision for an animal.
- Tenants will not alter their unit, patio or other outside area to create an enclosure.
- Pets will be restrained at all times, when outside an apartment on development property. No pet shall be loose in hallways, elevators, community rooms, dining rooms or other common areas.
- Visitors with pets will be allowed as long as they notify management and generally conform to the policy’s guidelines.
- Pets will not be allowed to disturb the health, safety, rights, comfort or quiet enjoyment of other tenants. A pet should not create a nuisance to neighbors with excessive barking, whining, chirping or other unruly behavior.
- Pet owners will agree to quarterly apartment inspections to be sure pets and units are being cared for properly. These inspections may be reduced or increased in time periods at the manager’s discretion.
- Required information and documents.
(1) The tenant is responsible for providing management with the following information and documents which are to be kept on file in the tenant’s folder:
(a) A color photo and identifying description of the pet.
(b) Attending veterinarian’s name, address and telephone number.
(c) Veterinary certificates of spaying or neutering, rabies, distemper, parvovirus, feline leukemia and other inoculations when applicable.
(d) Dog licensing certificates in accordance with local and state laws.
(e) Two alternate caretakers, their names, address and telephone numbers, who will assume immediate responsibility for the care of the pet should the owner become incapacitated. These caretakers must be verified in writing by signing the Lease Pet Rider, acknowledging their responsibilities as specified.
(f) Emergency boarding accommodations.
(g) Temporary ownership (overnight or short-term) which shall be registered with management under the pet rules and regulations.
(h) The Tenant shall secure personal liability or other insurance and indemnify the FHA against pet-related litigation or attorneys fees.
The tenant is responsible for keeping management informed of any change of information.
- Management responsibilities.
- The following are the responsibilities of management:
(1) Posting of facility’s rules and regulations of companion animal ownership and enforcement in a fair and just manner.
(2) Proper record keeping of pertinent owner and pet information, pet participation fee, deposits, apartment inspections, investigation of complaints and issuing of warnings, billing for damages, scheduling for repairs, etc.
- All written complaints shall be referred to the housing manager for resolution. Management will also inform the resident of any other rule infractions and will duly notify the
grievance person of attempted resolution.
- Upon second notice of a written legitimate complaint from the FHA to the tenant, the resident shall be advised that a further notice shall be cause for termination of the Pet Rider provisions, except that in the case of a serious problem, e.g. a vicious dog, this procedure may be shortened in the interest of public safety.
- Pet participation fee.
- A pet deposit of $150 is required of each pet owner. The amount may be payable over a three month period, with the first payment due at time of signing the rider. This payment will be implemented as a security deposit.
- The deposit will be refunded at the time the tenant vacates or no longer has ownership of the pet, provided that no pet-related damage has been done to the property. Sums necessary to repair such damage will be deducted from the deposit.
- A fee, in graduating amounts, not to exceed $10, shall be collected from pet owners failing to clean up after their animals.
- Liability of pet owner for damage or injury.
- The pet owner is liable for repairing or replacing damaged areas of the exterior, interior, doors, walls, floor coverings and fixtures in the unit, common areas or other areas damaged by the tenant’s pet.
- The pet owner is liable for cleaning, deodorizing and sanitizing carpeting and other floor coverings in the unit as necessitated by the presence of a pet.
Charges for damage will include materials and labor.
- Resolution of complaints.
- Any complaint about a pet or pet owner will be referred to the Housing Manager. The housing manager will work with the pet owner to resolve the problem.
- The pet owner may appeal the decision of the Executive Director by submitting within 10 days in writing a request for a hearing by the FHA Grievance Panel.
(1) A decision may be made to require permanent removal of a pet, after notice and hearing, and can further determine if the tenant may replace the pet with another.
(2) Noncompliance with the decision of the meeting is sufficient cause for termination of the tenant’s dwelling lease with FHA.
- Protection of pet.
- Identification cards, carried in purse or wallet, naming veterinarian and caretaker should be with the pet owner at all times. In the event of a sudden illness or accident, attending authorities would notify management to assist the pet and avoid a delay in proper care of the animal.
- No pet is to remain unattended, without proper care, for more that 24 hours, except in the case of a dog which shall be no more that 12 hours.
except in the case on
- If the health or safety of a companion animal is threatened by incapacity or death of the owner, management will contact the caretakers designated by the tenant.
- Removal of pet.
- If caretakers are unable or unwilling to assume responsibility for the pet and the tenant is unable to locate alternate arrangements, management may enter the premises, remove the pet and arrange for pet care for no less than 10 days to protect the pet. Funds for such care will come from the tenant’s pet deposit. The management may contact the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or other suitable humane society for assistance in providing alternate arrangements for the care of the pet if the caretaker can not be located.
- Termination of lease proceedings may be instituted if the pet owner is in violation of these guidelines which the pet owner has agreed to abide by in signing the Pet Rider attached to the leaşe.
- Appeal process for denial of waiver.
- Any denial of waiver shall be given in writing to the tenant/applicant who requested such waiver.
- Any tenant/applicant who has been denied a waiver of the lease agreement by the Executive Director may appeal that decision by submitting within 10 days in w a hearing by the Framingham Housing Authority Grievance Panel.
- Amendments to guidelines.
These guidelines may be amended from time to time.
RULES FOR PETS
The following rules are established to govern the keeping of pets in and on properties C owned and operated by the Framingham Housing Authority.
Tenants permitted pets are those tenants sixty-two years of age or older, or disabled.
All pets must be registered with the Housing Authority. Tenants must receive a written permit to keep any animal on or about the premises. This privilege may be revoked at any time subject to the Housing Authority grievance procedure if the animal becomes destructive or a nuisance to others, or if the tenant/owner fails to comply with the following:
- A maximum number of one pet is allowed.
- Permitted pets are domesticated dogs, cats, birds and fish aquariums. Dogs’ and cats’ weight must be under 40 pounds. No animals of prey or dangerous species are to be kept on premises. Dogs are to be licensed yearly with the proper authorities, and tenants must show proof of yearly disternper and rabies boosters. Cats are to be vaccinated yearly for distemper also. No vicious or intimidating dogs are to be kept.
All cats and dogs are to be neutered. If such animals are not spayed and have offspring, tenant is in violation of this rule. Certification of neutering is required. No pet may be kept in violation of humane or health laws.
Dogs and cats shall remain inside a tenant’s unit unless they are on a leash. Birds must be confined to a cage at all times. Cats are to use litter boxes kept in tenant’s premises. Tenant is not allowed to let waste accumulate.
- Tenants are responsible for promptly cleaning up pet droppings.
- Tenant shall take adequate precautions to eliminate any pet odors within or around unit and maintain unit in a sanitary condition at all times.
- Tenant shall not permit any disturbance by their pet which would interfere with the quiet enjoyment of other tenants, whether by loud barking, howling, biting, scratching, chirping or other such activities.
- If pets are left unattended for twenty-four (24) hours or more, the Housing Authority may enter to remove the pet and transfer it to the proper authorities or to person designated in case of emergency. The Housing Authority accepts no responsibility for the pet under such circumstances.
- Tenants shall not alter their unit, patio or unit area to create an enclosure for an animal,
- Tenant is responsible for all damages caused by their pets.
- Tenants are prohibited from feeding stray animals. The feeding of stray animals shall constitute having a pet without permission of the Housing Authority.
- Tenant shall pay a damage deposit for each pet as follows: A dog, $100.00; a cat, $50.00; fish or bird, none. This deposit shall be paid in advance or on the acceptance of said pets by the tenant. This deposit is refundable if no damage is done, as verified by the Housing Authority, after tenant disposes of the pet/pets, or moves.
- Tenants who violate these rules are subject to: (a) being required to get rid of the pet within 15 days of notice by the Housing Authority; and/or, (b) eviction.
Program Participation Policy
It is the policy of the Framingham Housing Authority that all its programs are open to participation by U.S. Citizens and documented aliens whose legal status is in compliance with the rules of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service and who would otherwise be eligible under U.S. Dept. of HUD alien rule residency criteria.
August 9, 2004
Rent Collection Policy
- Due date.
Rents are due and payable on the first day of each month.
- Notice of delinquent rent.
If rent is unpaid by the fifth of the month, tenants will be advised of the delinquency with a fourteen-day notice sent by both certified and regular mail or delivered in hand or served by a constable.
- Summary process hearing.
If rent is still unpaid after the 14 days are over, the fourteen-day notice shall be forwarded to the Authority Attorney for an appearance at a summary process hearing in court. The summary process date shall be delivered to the tenant by the constable. At the summary process hearing, the tenant may make an agreement approved by the Authority with the Authority Attorney, and the agreement shall be submitted to the court. If the tenant does not appear at the hearing, a default will be entered into court for possession of the unit and a Rule 10 filed. The tenant may appear before the court to plead the case of nonpayment.
- Hardship Cases.
The Executive Director may, in his sole discretion, make exceptions to the policy in the case of a demonstrated and documented hardship where the tenant has made acceptable arrangements for a schedule to meet the current rental and payments on the arrearage as they continue to meet their obligations under the schedule.
- Methods to secure payment.
Delinquent rent shall be deducted from any payments due to the former tenant. If the delinquency exceeds the amount of payment owed by the tenant, the following means will be used to secure payments: the Authority’s Attorney will contact persons if possible and small claims will be started. If the Authority is unable to collect or locate the tenant, all proceedings will be turned over to the collection agency.
The accounts of vacated tenants which remain uncollectible after all means of collection have failed shall be written off the accounts receivable as collection losses. However, a record of all write-offs shall be maintained at the Authority, in the event that future collection is possible.
Under no circumstance will a satellite dish or antenna be allowed to be placed on the roofs, fascia boards, or any parts of the building or grounds managed by the Framingham Housing Authority, without the express written permission of the FHA Board of Commissioners.
Upon motion by Commissioner Galante, seconded by Commissioner May, policy was adopted on May 8, 2007.
Smoke Detector Policy
In recognition of the importance of properly operating smoke detectors to the health and safety of tenants, and that both the FHA and tenants have an obligation in this regard, the following policy is herewith adopted:
- At each annual recertification tenants shall be provided with a copy of MGL Chapter 148 & 27A and the Smoke Detector Policy.
- At each annual unit inspection, smoke detectors shall be tested to assure they function properly.
- Any missing, damaged or malfunctioning smoke detector shall be replaced as soon as possible.
- Eviction procedures shall be instituted against any tenant who vandalizes, damages or disables a smoke detector.
- Any unit that has damaged or inoperable smoke detectors shall be re-inspected at random intervals to assure that repaired and replaced smoke detectors are functioning properly.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
The goal of the FHA is to assist eligible families in serving the needs of child and adult victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking by offering a local preference to families that have been subjected to or victimized by a member of the family or household or affiliated individual. The FHA will require evidence that the family has been displaced as a result of violence in the home, Families will also be eligible for this preference if there is proof that the family is currently living in a situation where they are being subjected to, or victimized by, violence in the home.
The FHA follows policies regarding Admission, Occupancy, and Termination of Assistance in accordance with HUD regulations.
The FHA works with local advocacy groups and service providers to assist victims and consults with the Framingham Police Department, the Massachusetts Trial Court Probation Department, and Probate Court to enhance victim safety in assisted families.
Framingham Housing Authority
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Policy
- Purpose and Applicability.
The purpose of this policy (herein called “Policy” is to implement the applicable provisions of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013) and more generally to set forth the Framingham Housing Authority (FHA) policies and procedures regarding domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, as hereinafter defined.
This policy shall be applicable to the administration by the FHA of all federally subsidized public housing and Section 8 rental assistance under the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.).
- Notwithstanding its title, this policy is gender-neutral, and its protections are available to males who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking as well as female victims of such violence.
III. Goals and Objectives
This Policy has the following principal goals and objectives:
A.) Maintaining compliance with all applicable legal requirements imposed by VAWA;
B.) Insuring the physical safety of victims of actual or threatened domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking who are assisted by the FHA.
C.) Providing and maintaining housing opportunities for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking;
D.) Creating and maintaining collaborative arrangements between the FHA, law enforcement authorities, victim service providers, and others to promote the safety and well-being of victims of actual and threatened domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking who are assisted by the FHA; and
E.) Taking appropriate action in response to an incident or incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, affecting individuals assisted by the FHA.
- Other FHA Policies and Procedures
This Policy shall be referenced in attached to the FHA’s Five (5) year Public Housing Agency Plan and shall be incorporated in and made a part of the FHA’S Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy. The FHA’s annual public housing agency plan shall also contain information concerning the FHA’s activities, services or programs relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking to the extent any provision of this Policy shall vary or contradict any previously adopted policy or procedure of the FHA, the provisions of this Policy shall prevail.
As used in this Policy:
- Affiliated individual – defined with respect to an individual-(A) a spouse, parent, brother, sister Or child of that individual, or an individual to whom that individual stands in loco parentis (B) any individual ,tenant or lawful occupant living in the household of that individual.
- Domestic Violence – The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with who the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
- Dating Violence – means: violence committed by a person:
- Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the
- Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of factors:
- The length of the relationship.
- The type of relationship.
iii. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship
- Stalking – means:
- to follow, pursue, or repeatedly commit acts with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or
intimidate another person; and (b) to place under surveillance with the intent to kill, injure, harass or intimate another person; and
- in the course of, or as a result of, such following, pursuit, surveillance or repeatedly
committed acts, to place a person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, or to cause substantial emotional harm to:
i, that person;
- a member of the affiliated individual of that person; or the spouse or intimate
partner of that person
- Perpetrator – means person who commits an act of violence, dating violence, sexual assaultor stalking against a victim.
- Sexual Assault – defined as “any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by federal, tribal or state law including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.
- Admissions and Screening
- a) Non-Denial of Assistance. The FHA will not deny admission to public housing or to the Section 8 rental assistance program to any person because that person is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, provided that such a person is otherwise qualified for such admission.
- b) Mitigation of Disqualifying Information. When so requested in writing by an applicant for assistance whose history includes incidents in which the applicant was a victim of domestic violence, the FHA may but shall not be obliged to, take such information into account in mitigation of potentially disqualifying information, such as poor credit history or previous damage to a dwelling. If requested by an appellant to take such mitigating information into account, the FHA shall be entitled to conduct such inquiries as are reasonably necessary to verify the claimed history of domestic violence and its probably relevance to the potentially disqualifying information. The FHA will not disregard or mitigate potentially disqualifying information if the applicant household includes a perpetrator of a previous incident or incidents of domestic violence.
VII. Terminations of Tenancy or Assistance
- VAWA Protection.
Under VAWA, public housing residents and persons assisted under the section 8 rental assistance program have the following specific protections, which will be observed by the FHA:
- An incident or incidents, or stalking will not be considered to be a “serious or repeated”
violation of the lease by the victim or threatened victim of that violence and will not be good cause for terminating the tenancy or occupancy rights of or assistance to the victim of that violence.
- In addition to the forgoing, tenancy or assistance will not be terminated by the FHA as a result of criminal activity, if that criminal activity is directly related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking engaged in by a member of the tenant’s household, a guest or person under the tenant’s control, shall not be cause for termination of assistance, tenancy, or occupancy rights if the tenant or an affiliated individual or family member is the victim or threatened victim of the domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking (emphasis
added). However, the protection against termination of tenancy or assistance described in this paragraph is subject to the following limitations:
- Nothing contained in this paragraph shall limit any otherwise available authority of the
FHA or a Section 8 owner or manager to terminate tenancy, evict, or to terminate
assistance, as the case may be, for any violation of a lease or program requirement not premised on the act or acts of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking in question against the tenant or member of the tenants household. However, in taking any such action neither the FHA nor a Section 8 manager or owner may apply a more demanding standard to the victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking then that apply to the other tenants.
- Nothing contained in this paragraph shall be construed to limit the authority of the FHA or a Section 8 owner or manager to evict or terminate from assistance any tenant.
or lawful applicant if the owner, manager or the FHA, as that case may be, can
demonstrate an actual and imminent threat to other tenants or to those who employed at providing service to the property, if the tenant is not evicted or terminated from assistance.
- Removal of Perpetrator.
Further, notwithstanding anything in paragraph VI.A.2 or Federal, State or local law to the contrary, the FHA or a Section 8 owner or manager, as the case may be, may bifurcate a lease, or remove a household member from a lease, without regard to whether a household member is a signatory to a lease, in order to evict, remove, terminate occupancy rights, or terminate assistance to any individual who is a tenant or lawful occupant and who engages in criminal activity directly relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking against an affiliated individual or other individual. Such action against the perpetrator of such physical violence may be taken without evicting, removing, terminating, assistance to, or otherwise penalizing the victim of such violence who is also the tenant or a lawful occupant. The FHA shall provide remaining tenant the opportunity to establish eligibility for the covered Housing program. If the remaining tenant cannot establish eligibility, the FHA is required to provide the tenant a reasonable time to find new housing or to establish eligibility under another covered housing program. Such eviction, removal, termination of occupancy rights, or termination of assistance shall be effected in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law applicable to terminations of tenancy and evictions by the FHA, Leases used for all public housing operation by the FHA and, at the option of Section 8 owners or managers, leases for dwelling units occupied by families assisted with Section 8 rental assistance administered by the FHA, shall contain provisions setting for the substance of this paragraph.
VIII. Verification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual assault or Stalking
- Requirement for Verification. The law allows, but does not require, the FHA or a Section 8 owner or manager to verify that an incident or incidents of actual or threatened domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking claimed by a tenant or other lawful occupant is bona fide and meets the requirements of the applicable definitions set forth in this policy. Subject only to waiver as provided in paragraph VII. C., the FHA shall require verification in all cases where an individual claims protection against an action involving such individual proposed to be taken by the FHA. Section 8 owners or managers receiving rental assistance administers by the FHA may elect to require verification, to not to require it as permitted under applicable law. Other acceptable forms of documentation of abuse to include a document signed by a mental health professional or the record of an administrative agency.
Verification of a claimed incident or incidents of actual or threatened domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking may be accomplished in one of the following three ways:
- HUD – approved form – by providing FHA or to the requesting Section 8 owner or manager a
written certification, on a form approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD), that the individual is a victim on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking that the incident or incidents in question are bona fide incidents of actual or threatened abuse meeting the requirements of the applicable definition(s) set forth in this policy. The incident or incidents in question must be described in reasonable detail as required in the HUD approved form, and the completed certification must include the name of the perpetrator if known to the victim.
- Other Documentations – by providing to the FHA or to the requesting Section 8 owner or
manager documentation signed by an employee, agent or volunteer of a victim service
provider, an attorney, or a medical professional, from whom the victim has sought assistance in addressing the domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, or the effects of the abuse, described in documentation, the professional providing the documentation must sign and attest under the penalty of perjury (28 U.S.C. 1746) to the professional’s belief that the incident or incidents in question are bonafide incidents of abuse meeting the requirements of the applicable definition(s) set forth in this policy. The victim of the incident or incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking described in documentation must also sign and attest to the documentation under the penalty of perjury.
- Police or Court Record – by providing the FHA or to the requesting Section 8 owner or manager, a Federal, State, tribal, territorial, or local police or court record describing theincident or incidents in question.
- Document signed by a mental health professional or the record of an administrative agency.
- Time allowed to provide verification/failure to provide.
An individual who claims protection against adverse action based on an incident or incidents of actual or throated domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, and who is requested by the FHA, or Section 8 owner or manager to provide verification, must provide such verification within 14 business days (i.e., 14 calendar days excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and federally-recognized holidays) after receipt of the request for verification. Failure to provide verification, in proper form within such time will result in loss of protection under VAWA and this policy against a proposed adverse action.
- Waiver of Verification Requirement.
The Executive Director of the FHA, or a Section 8 owner or manager, may, with respect to any specific case, waive the above-stated requirements for verification and provide the benefits of this policy based on the victim’s statement or other corroborating evidence. Such waiver may be granted in the sole discretion of the Executive Director, owner or manager. Any such waiver must be in writing, Waiver in a particular instance or instances shall not operate as precedent for, or create any right to, waiver in any other case or cases, regardless of similarity in circumstances.
- Right of Confidentiality. All information (including the fact that an individual is a victim of
domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking) provided to the FHA or Section 8 owner or manager in connection with a verification required under Section VI of this policy or provided in lieu of such verification where a waiver of verification is granted, shall be retained by the receiving party in confidence and shall neither be entered in any shared database not provided to any related entity, except where disclosure is.
- requested or consented to by the individual in writing, or
- required for use in public housing eviction proceeding or in connection with termination of
Section 8 assistance, as permitted in VAWA, or
- otherwise required by applicable law.
- Notification of Rights.
All tenants of public housing and tenants participating in the Section 8
rental assistance program administered by the FHA shall be notified in writing concerning their right to confidentiality and limits of such rights to confidentiality.
- Court Orders/Family Breakup
- Court Orders.
It is the FHA’s policy to honor ordered entered by courts of competent jurisdiction affecting individuals assisted by the FHA and their property. This includes cooperating with law enforcement authorities to enforce civil protection orders issued for the protection of victims and addressing the distribution of personal property among household members in cases where a family breaks up.
- Relationships with Service Providers
It is the policy of the FHA to cooperate with organizations and entities, both private and governmental, which provides shelter and/or services to victims of domestic violence. If the FHA staff becomes aware that an individual assisted by the FHA is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, the FHA will refer the victim to such providers of shelter or services as appropriate, Notwithstanding the foregoing, this Policy does not create any legal obligation requiring the FHA to either maintain a relationship with any particular provider of shelter or services to victims or domestic violence or to make a referral in any particular case, the FHA’s annual public housing agency plan shall describe providers of shelter or services to victims of domestic violence with which the FHA has referral or other cooperative relationships.
The FHA shall provide with written notification to applicants, tenants, and Section 8 owners and managers, concerning the rights and obligations created under VAWA relating to confidentiality, denial of assistance and, termination of tenancy or assistance.
XIII. Relationship with Other Applicable Laws
Neither VAWA nor this Policy implementing it shall preempt or supersede any provision of Federal, State or local law that provides greater protection than that provided under VAVA for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.
This policy may be amended from time to time by the FHA as approved by the FHA’s Board of Commissioners.