Press Release Covid-19 March 16, 2020

Official Press Release:

At the Northampton Housing Authority our first priority is always safety and ensuring the well-being of our employees, residents, and the community we serve. Following the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Health guidance to minimize exposure between employees, and also between employees and the public, our management teams will be working remotely and answering phones/email communication as frequently as possible. Our offices will be closed to the public from March 16, 2020 to March 27, 2020.

Our on-call maintenance team will be available to complete any emergencies that arise but we ask residents to be aware that nonemergency work orders will not occur during this time for the safety of both our residents and employees. Our on- call teams will be following all of the latest guidance when entering units and working in common areas to minimize exposure. We ask that all residents notify our office if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms or feeling ill, especially with a fever or persistent cough, have been tested for Covid-19, or are under self-quarantine.

Out of an abundance of caution, a deep cleaning was conducted by our vendor 24 Restore New England on Friday, March 13, 2020, at all of our properties on the common touch points such as elevators, common doors, and offices. We will continue to follow CDC and Department of Public Health recommendations for clean and disinfecting as our team also addresses the emergency work orders.

We are cognizant that many hourly workers will lose income in March and possibly April and want to assure residents we will be lenient during this emergency period with regard to documentation accepted to verify the decrease in income or increase in deductions. We do not want residents being concerned about these changes at this time and we will work with all residents regarding these concerns.

At this time, we will not pursue “non-essential eviction actions” for as long as Gov. Charlie Baker’s declared state of emergency lasts. Non-essential cases are defined as “non-payment and cause cases that do not involve or include allegations of criminal activity or lease violations that impact the health or safety of Northampton Housing Authority residents, employees, or the general public.

Northampton Public Schools is working to set up a meal program for their students during closure. At this time, they have informed us that it will start on Thursday, March19, 2020. They intend to deliver lunch and breakfast for students at both Hampshire Heights and Florence Heights from 11-12PM. There will be a bus present with volunteers to distribute meals to any child 18 or under at no cost or need to sign up. This will be just like the summer programs we had this past summer. We do not intend to request children to stay to consume their meals at the site, but they must be present to receive the meals.

Residents are encouraged to check the news section of our website at which is located at the bottom of our homepage for the latest updates.

We will continue to update residents via memos delivered to their apartments, updating our main phone line at (413) 584- 4030, and posting in common areas as additional guidance and recommendations are received.

For a listing of what is considered a maintenance emergency, please click here.