Haverhill Housing Authority Endorses DiZoglio Senior Protection Bill

State Rep. Diana DiZoglio of Methuen.

The Haverhill Housing Authority is among those backing proposed legislation aimed at protecting seniors at public housing complexes.

State Rep. Diana DiZoglio, whose district includes parts of Haverhill, filed a bill earlier this year to establish a task force on elderly and disabled persons residing in public housing. Her bill came in response to the January murder of three seniors at North Andover’s Foulds Terrace.

“Passage of H1094 will strengthen the commonwealth’s housing authorities’ mission to provide safe, decent and sanitary housing to the low income populations that we serve,” said Joseph A. Hart, executive director of the Haverhill Housing Authority. “We can do better to protect the safety and welfare of our residents. This bill will begin a long-overdue discussion of the issues that arise in mixed population housing developments.”

Other endorsements come from the North Andover Housing Authority and Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, who presented testimony at a hearing before the Joint Committee on Housing earlier this month.

“This bill is the first step in what I hope will be a comprehensive effort by citizens, in North Andover and across the commonwealth, to protect our many seniors and disabled persons residing in public housing,” said DiZoglio.

The task force would advise the secretaries of the state’s Housing and Economic Development and Health and Human Services on “best practices to ensure the safety and welfare of the elderly and disabled in public housing, including investigating efforts to maximize overall facility and individual apartment safety and security,” a statement from DiZoglio’s office reported. It would also report to the legislature and chairs of the Joint Committees on Elder Affairs and Mental Health and Substance Abuse the results of its investigation by 2016.

“The potential for this study to address the safety needs of the elderly population and provide means to resolve issues and concerns to ensure quality of life for elders living in subsidized housing is a key concern for ESMV and we support Rep. DiZoglio’s bill to explore this issue further,” said Rosanne DiStefano, executive director of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley.

Walter Hamilton, 78, George Kettinger Jr., 79, and Francis Kort, 68, were allegedly murdered by another resident of the complex during the first week of January.

One thought on “Haverhill Housing Authority Endorses DiZoglio Senior Protection Bill

  1. What are the steps to be taken to make housing more secure? This article says nothing about that. A lot of people endorse this bill but it says nothing about the content of the bill.