It is bitterly cold now as the nomads, women in their 70s and 80s, gather in their vans and cars in the department store parking lot on a bitterly cold night. The common thread in their stories is how they were forced out of their homes because their bodies could not tolerate smoking or other triggers of their asthma or multiple chemical sensitivity. Multiple chemical sensitivity is a condition in which the body’s immune and neurological systems cause symptoms similar to allergies, symptoms that can be disabling.
It’s now up to every one of us to tell Beacon Hill, We want our rights now!
Testimony of Jerry Halberstadt and others 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
To the Honorable Chairs James B. Eldridge and Michael S. Day, Vice Chairs Lydia Edwards and Christine P. Barber and members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
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.
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.