Draft of the testimony of Jerry Halberstadt in favor of H3868, “An Act to create the office of the tenant advocate in the Office of the Attorney General,” prepared for the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, December 5, 2023
The public is invited to participate in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary's hybrid hearing on December 5, 2023 at 1:00pm. Please note that the Chair will limit testimony to one time, for a total of three minutes, per individual.
The Office of the Attorney General has asserted that it is unlawful for a housing provider not to protect tenants from harassment. I wrote to seek a meeting with the Attorney General or the Policy & Government Affairs Division to discuss the issues around bullying, mobbing, and hostile environment harassment. I asked to include tenants and the legislative sponsors of H3868—a bill to create an office of the tenant advocate that would protect the rights of tenants when landlords fail to prevent hostile environment harassment.
We hope to live with dignity and respect for our rights, even if we live in public and subsidized housing. However, we often feel like prisoners and we despair for relief.
Enslaved people and their descendants have had a more difficult challenge to seek their rightful place as free persons living with dignity and respect for their rights!
Some tenants of Apple Village allege they are the targets of harassment, abuse, bullying, and deliberate actions to create stress. Members of each of the tenant associations accuse the other of bullying. Some blame the manager. The problems are pervasive. The situation may qualify as hostile environment harassment. Apple Village in Beverly has two HUD-subsidized apartment buildings for elderly and disabled.