Whereas: why we need a law

  • Whereas there is no state agency empowered to investigate and remedy allegations of bullying, mobbing, or hostile environment harassment that targets almost every category of the 92,000 elderly and people with disability who are residents of subsidized or public multifamily housing. The Fair Housing Law and Civil Rights laws offer protection in a narrow set of circumstances for people in protected classes and their complaints may take years to come to a hearing;
  • and whereas perpetrators use the tactics of bullying, mobbing in order to harm and/ or control the target(s) and take away—their dignity—their self respect—their health—and their well being; while depriving them of their right to peaceful enjoyment of their tenancy, and thus creating a hostile environment;
  • and whereas bullying is a contagious social problem that creates toxic communities and harms everyone in housing, including management, staff and landlord, not just the tenants;
  • and whereas it may be dangerous for a target of mobbing to seek protection or remedial changes in his or her residential environment because of the likelihood of retaliation;
  • and whereas tenants cannot afford the costs of legal representation and civil court action and there is very little access to pro bono and free legal services for such situations;
  • and whereas landlords have a legal duty to assure quiet or peaceful enjoyment to all tenants;
  • and whereas there is today no agency effectively empowered to hold landlords accountable for their duty to assure peaceful enjoyment;
  • and whereas neither the Department of Elder Affairs or the Disabled Persons Protection Commission is mandated and empowered to protect persons who are bullied by unrelated residents of their residential setting who are not their caregivers or related persons living in the same apartment;
  • Therefore we petition for new remedial and protective legislation by amending MGL Part I, Chapter 19A: DEPARTMENT OF ELDER AFFAIRS and Chapter 19C: DISABLED PERSONS PROTECTION COMMISSION as proposed here.