Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How crooked is the Housing Authority?

Very very crooked. And they know I know how crooked they are. Strange but true, they think they are above the law. But even for a quasi-public agency, according to our town spokesperson, they are responsible to a higher authority. A much higher authority.

So let's recap some of the things they do on a regular basis.

They consistently give preference to friends and family over people who are more deserving.

They do not move out their friends and family once the children have left the apartment, leaving housing unavailable for people on an emergency basis.

They discriminate against the disabled by refusing emergency status, even when the emergency status forms are filled out with three TIMES the number of doctor's documentation.

They refuse to speak to their clients, restricting phone calls only to Friday where the client is not allowed to ask any question other than their status on the list. Status that never changes because unless you are on the "inside" you're never going to get housing in our city.

They refuse to speak to the press, cancelling appointments if they feel that the press might not frame them in a positive light.

They have a web site that is based on out and out lies, saying that the average wait time for housing is:


Senior/disabled one bedroom housing developments available under this program include Echo Ridge, Nonantum Village, Centenary Village, and New Hyde Apartments. To qualify for this program, you must be income eligible, over the age of 60, or disabled/handicapped. The waiting time for this program is approximately 3-5 years.

Applicants will be offered an apartment at the location where the vacancy exists at the time their name reaches the top of the waiting list. Applicants are not permitted to choose the location.

State Family Housing Units are scattered throughout the City of Newton. There are 90 family units comprised of two, three, and four bedrooms. The waiting time for this program is approximately 7-10 years. It is estimated that applicants applying for emergency priority under this program will have to wait approximately 5 years due to the limited vacancies.

The Hamilton Grove Complex is located in Newton Lower Falls. This development consists of 42 units, which include three-1 bedroom wheelchair accessible units. The Hamilton Grove has its own separate waiting list which requires a separate application. The income guidelines for this program are the same as for Section 8 income guide lines. The approximate waiting time for this program is 3-5 years.

None of those waiting times are at all truthful. The majority of people I've spoken to are told, as I was, that the waiting time is 20 years. TWENTY YEARS. Who the hell is still going to be in town in 20 years, waiting for the housing authority. Nobody I know.

They do not have, nor will they participate in a Section 8 program. If someone moves into town with a Section 8 from another community, they will not get help from the Housing Authority. Additionally, when Section 8 programs open up, if you ask the Housing Authority to participate, they will refuse and will not tell you why. But I will. Because they don't want to be bothered.

They are exceptionally rude to clients. I've had a form that I handed to a worker through their tiny glass window (you don't think that they get near the clients, do you?) thrown back in my face because I didn't have something that WAS NOT ON THE FORM. Oh, you're supposed to read the minds of the Housing Authority, too.

Additionally, I've been hung up on when I've asked questions. Hung up on. Nice!

I've had it with this "agency." They are running it like a rogue agency because their oversight isn't from the Mayor's office. In fact, the Mayor's office is looking into who exactly they report to so I can file a formal complaint. Because I'm not going to be denied housing due to the Housing Authority's dishonesty.

I finally figured out just what slime they were when I went way way overboard on my latest emergency application, after they cancelled the last one without really explaining why. I went so above and beyond the call of duty that the ONLY reason they could refuse to put me on the emergency list was rank dishonesty. And that is EXACTLY what they did.

They have an open Board meeting on the second Friday of each month. Not that they've made this public information or anything, but as the little Nancy Drew that I am, I found it out. They must have this be a public meeting. So I'll be there with bells on.

If you know someone who is affected by this town's Housing Authority, who cannot get housing, who has had difficult dealings with them, or who has given up on trying to obtain housing in our city and has moved to another town, please please let me know. I'd like to have a nice group of people at the next board meeting to 'discuss' the policies of this corrupt agency. It should be fun!

I've already figured out I'm never going to get housing from this agency. But I can, and already have, reported them to the state, and I will be reporting them to HUD as well. You can only treat people like crap for so long before someone rises up from the primordial slime and reports your lazy, corrupt asses.

(Aside) H.A. has visited my blog 5o times TODAY. I find that hilarious.

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Blogger MultiModalMama said...

Can you find a public interest law firm - or even MASSPIRG - to sue them on your behalf?

17/3/09 8:14 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

I'm looking into first going through the correct channels, filing discrimination complaints. I found from my conversation with HUD overseers today that the HA has denied me housing on 4 different fronts, all of which are discriminatory. In other words, they're kind of screwing themselves. But if I have to take legal action to get them to move, I will. Believe me, I will.

17/3/09 10:45 PM  

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