GHA to get strict on rules in housing complexes

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing Authority is planning to start better enforcement of tenants lease agreements in the coming year.

During Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, interim Executive Director Daniel Towne said the GHA will begin to enforce rules of leases more throughly.

Towne said he had spoken with new tenant commissioner Christine Nicosia in the last few weeks and the pair discussed issues relating to smoking at Forest Hill Towers.

Forest Hill Towers, Kingsboro Towers and Dubois Gardens are non-smoking buildings.

“One of the things we are trying very hard to do is be very agressive on enforcement of the lease, including the no smoking policy that has been in effect for a couple years,” Towne said.

The first offense will bring about a written warning from the GHA, the second will see a $250 fine and and a third offense will see the eviction process begin.

Towne said second violation notices will be going out soon to those who have already had a first notice, but have continued to violate the no smoking policy.

“If you are smoking in your apartment, you have better stop or you’re going to be paying a $250 fine. This is a policy that the housing authority board of commissioners passed a few years ago and has never been enforced,” Towne said.

For the last few weeks, the GHA has been going around to apartments of those suspected of smoking to try and talk with them about the regulations. She said if they don’t answer, staff does not go into the apartments.

Commissioner Marcia Weiss said the GHA may want to send a notice around to tenants on floors with smoking complaints to remind residents that GHA housing is non-smoking.

“You just send it out to the whole floor and add in what regulation it is from the lease,” Weiss said.

Towne said there are also issues related to security that have been violated, including people making copies of their keys, something that is against GHA lease agreements.

“It has been suggested people have been cutting keys for others,” Towne said.

Towne said there have also been issues with getting tenants to move their vehicles following snowfalls. The GHA requires tenants to move their cars during set times after snowfalls to clear the parking lots. Towne said some residents don’t move their cars, making snow removal more difficult.

Board President John Castiglione encouraged tenants to not wait and report issues with smoking during board meetings, but to instead contact staff immediately if it is during staffing hours of the issues. He said it will be easier to catch culprits in the act rather than have to try and follow up.