Town of Blackstone, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Housing Authority of the Town of Blackstone as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing Authority — See Ch. 19.
[Adopted 11-13-1986[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: The preamble to this enactment read: "Pursuant to 760 CMR 5.10, the Blackstone Housing Authority hereby adopts the following emergency case plan."
A. 
Through this plan, the Authority seeks to establish a fair and uniform standard to be applied to all applicants for emergency case status, to the end that similarly situated applicants will receive similar treatment.
B. 
Requirements employed by the Authority in making determinations of emergency case status as to evidence, documentation and verification and efforts by the applicant to prevent, avoid or alleviate his or her situation, shall be reasonable in relation to the realistic capacity and resources of the applicant.
A. 
As stated in 760 CMR 5.08(1) and 5.04, the Blackstone Housing Authority has four different emergency case priorities for placement in its programs covered by 760 CMR 5.00.
(1) 
Homeless due to displacement by natural forces.
(2) 
Homeless due to displacement by public action (public works).
(3) 
Homeless due to displacement by public action (public health).
(4) 
"Emergency Case," as defined in § 181-4 of this plan.
B. 
As required by 760 CMR 5.10, the definitions of "homeless" adopted in this plan are consistent with the definition in 760 CMR 5.04.
The authority shall grant priority 1, 2 or 3 emergency case status to an otherwise eligible and qualified applicant who:
A. 
Meets one of the definitions of "displacement" specified in 760 CMR 5.04;
B. 
Is homeless and facing a significant immediate and direct threat to life or safety. Included in this category are applicants who are without a place to live, living in a car or tent, living in a shelter or emergency assistance-funded hotel/motel, temporarily housed in a private home in seriously overcrowded conditions as a direct result of the loss of other housing or in other circumstances as determined by the Authority; and
C. 
Has made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing.
The Authority shall grant priority 4 emergency case status to an otherwise eligible and qualified applicant under the following circumstances:
A. 
The applicant is homeless and facing a significant immediate and direct threat to life or safety of the applicant or any household member for causes other than the fault of the applicant or member of the applicant household. Applicants are "homeless and facing a significant immediate and direct threat to life or safety" if they are in any of the situations described in § 181-3B above. "Causes other than the fault of the applicant or member of the applicant household" shall include causes outside their reasonable control, including evictions without the fault of the applicant, evictions for nonpayment of rent where shelter costs exceed 50% of the family's adjusted income, and other circumstances as determined by the Authority. The applicant must have made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing, and must have pursued all reasonably available means of preventing or avoiding the safety- or life-threatening situation.
B. 
Severe medical emergencies. An applicant is suffering a severe medical emergency if the applicant or a household member is determined by the Authority to suffer from an illness or injury posing a severe and medically documented threat to life or safety which has been significantly caused by the lack of suitable housing or as to which the lack of suitable housing is a substantial impediment to treatment or recovery. The applicant must have made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing, and must have pursued all reasonably available means of preventing or avoiding the safety- or life-threatening situation.
C. 
Abusive situation. An applicant is in an abusive situation if the applicant or a household member is determined by the Authority to be a victim of abuse as defined in the Abuse Prevention Act (MGL c. 209A, § 1), which abuse constitutes a significant and direct threat to life or safety; to have exhausted all reasonably available means of avoiding or alleviating the threat, including seeking assistance through the courts, administrative and enforcement agencies; and to have made sincere efforts to locate alternative housing.
A. 
Applications. Emergency case applications shall be handled using the same application procedures, determination of eligibility procedures, verification procedures and appeal procedures as standard applicants. In view of the nature of emergency cases, the Authority shall make every reasonable effort to process emergency case applications promptly and to make prompt determinations of eligibility or ineligibility. If the applicant is found to be eligible, but not to qualify for emergency case status, he or she shall be treated as a standard applicant.
B. 
Placement. When an applicant has been determined by the tenant selection staff to qualify as an emergency case applicant, the applicant shall be offered the next appropriate and available unit, in accordance with the priority ranking of 760 CMR 5.08(1) and the preference ranking of 760 CMR 5.08(2). If no appropriate unit is then available, the applicant shall remain as an emergency case priority on the waiting list for each appropriate housing program and bedroom size. If the Authority determines that an applicant accorded emergency case status but not yet offered a unit has obtained permanent housing suitable for his/her household size and income, the applicant shall no longer be considered an emergency case applicant, and shall remain on the appropriate waiting lists as a standard applicant.
C. 
Records. The Authority shall maintain records with regard to emergency case applicants in accordance with 760 CMR 5.10(6).
D. 
Relationship to affirmative action goals. If the Authority or EOCD at any time determines that the number of applicants granted emergency case status substantially interferes with the achievement by the Authority of its affirmative action goals, then this plan shall be revised, upon public notice and in conformity with EOCD requirements, to maintain a proper balance between emergency case and affirmative action applicants.
The Authority shall follow the following steps, in order, upon receipt of an application for emergency case status. The applicant must qualify under each of the requirements set forth below:
A. 
Determine whether the applicant meets the requirements of 760 CMR 4.00 (qualifies as a family and is income-eligible). If so:
B. 
Determine whether the applicant is eligible under the standards set forth in 760 CMR 5.07. If so:
C. 
Determine whether the applicant meets all of the requirements in any one of the subsections [Subsection C(1), (2), (3) or (4)] below.
(1) 
Requirements of Subsection C(1):
(a) 
Displaced by natural forces or public action as defined in 760 CMR 5.04;
(b) 
Homeless and facing a significant immediate and direct threat to life or safety as defined in this plan; and
(c) 
Has made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing.
(2) 
Requirements of Subsection C(2):
(a) 
Homeless and facing a significant immediate and direct threat to life or safety as defined in this plan;
(b) 
Homelessness is for causes other than the fault of the applicant;
(c) 
Has made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing; and
(d) 
Has pursued all reasonably available means of preventing or avoiding the safety- or life-threatening situation.
(3) 
Requirements of Subsection C(3):
(a) 
Suffering a severe medical emergency;
(b) 
Emergency has either been significantly caused by lack of suitable housing or lack of suitable housing is a substantial impediment to treatment or recovery;
(c) 
Has made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing; and
(d) 
Has pursued all reasonably available means of preventing or avoiding the safety- or life-threatening situation.
(4) 
Requirements of Subsection C(4):
(a) 
Victim of abuse in current housing (as defined in the Abuse Prevention Act) constituting a significant immediate and direct threat to life or safety;
(b) 
All reasonably available means of alleviating the threat, such as assistance through the courts and the police, have been exhausted; and
(c) 
The applicant has made sincere efforts to locate alternative housing.