Legislation to Protect Tenants from COVID

Update on our legislative advocacy

Our legislative partners, including Representative Tom Walsh and Senator Joan Lovely, have determined that the first step is to bring our concerns to the newly formed Joint Standing Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management. That body will be tasked with oversight of the state’s pandemic response and take on an advisory role for the Legislature. It will also weigh broader issues of disaster preparedness, emergency management and communication.

For a Safe Community, We Need Laws

 

The goal of all our efforts is not to create a utopian community where everyone loves each other and there is no strife. No, it is make it possible for people to live together despite their differences and to create a social environment that is, at least, not toxic and harmful.

This is possible through a common understanding of the limits of behavior and having a way for people to resolve differences without resorting to aggression---physical, emotional, bullying, or mobbing.

“We’re Here to Help”

To save lives, we need answers now

What is the best way to protect elderly and disabled tenants of public and subsidized housing from COVID-19? We can find answers where someone has developed a practical, effective solution.

Chelsea Housing Authority

Let’s consider the approach of the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) as a case in point. Everything they do seems to flow from the motto of Paul Nowicki, Director of Operations, “We’re here to help.”

Tragedy and Hope In Elderly Housing

Elderly and disabled persons are at elevated risk for severe consequences and death from COVID-19 because of age, preexisting medical conditions, or a compromised immune system. Life in multi-unit housing compounds the risk of transmission. The most prudent approach is to increase compliance, oversight, and accountability for public health mandates, and to have an on-site vaccination program for everyone in all multi-unit facilities where elderly and disabled tenants are living, and as soon as possible. Vaccination for all tenants and staff is part of a comprehensive program that will continue to include masking, distancing, personal hygiene, cleaning of the environment, and frequent rapid testing with publication of the results including number of infections, and with restricted access to individual case information.

An Open Letter to the Honorable Governor Charles D. Baker on COVID-19

December 8, 2020

The Honorable Governor Charles C. Baker
The State House

Dear Governor Baker,

We urge you to you pay heed to the warnings and counsel of experts in public health and act now to stop the spread of COVID-19, specifically by preventing gatherings that have been shown to enhance the spread, and by ongoing monitoring and enforcement of mandates.

Never Say “Never”

Lynn Costello under green tree in apartment yard
How many times have you heard the expression “Never say ‘never’?” There has never been a greater time than right now to heed that advice, because if you don’t, it could land you in great trouble. At the very least you might end up quarantined in your own home, completely shut off and reliant on others to help you. At the very worst you could wind up on a respirator fighting for your life. Today, I live in an apartment building with 55 units, and at last estimate, 12 people are sick with COVID-19, and one is on a ventilator in hospital. I am now in my 6th day of quarantine with the virus and it hasn’t been fun.

An Open Letter to Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Public Health

December 4, 2020

To: Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Public Health

c/o Dr. Edward Bernstein, Public Health Council

Dear Commissioner Bharel,

In the Commonwealth, as well as across the nation, the valuable expertise of public health is being ignored, as people heedlessly expose themselves and others to COVID-19.

Alert: A Public Health Crisis Threatens Lives of Elderly & Disabled

Team of neighbors distribute masks to all tenants: Cheryl, Judy, Irene
COVID-19; the average age of death from COVID is 80. You, the leaders of the Commonwealth—our legislators, the Governor, and the Department of Public Health—are responsible for acting to enable, empower, and enforce public health protocols for landlords and tenants. We tenants have already begun. To save our lives, this is what you—Governor Baker and legislators—must do.

To Avert COVID-19 Outbreaks in Elderly Housing

Sunburst

Tenants in housing facilities for elderly and disabled persons are at elevated risk for serious outcomes or death from COVID because their age and other health conditions make them highly vulnerable.

Prevention is the best protection. But in many housing developments, neither management or tenants enforce or follow the best practice protocols for protection and mitigation.

The potential for a COVID disaster affecting elderly and disabled tenants has escalated because of the increased level of infection in many Massachusetts communities.