CHA proposes changes in public housing lease and ACOP rules

THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014 (updated)— Public housing tenants, attention. Cambridge Housing Authority is proposing changes to two very important documents: (1) the CHA apartment lease and (2) the Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy for Federal Public Housing (ACOP)—the basic rule book for the public housing program. There are also proposed changes to the schedule of maintenance charges and legal fees.

To view CHA's current and proposed maintenance and legal fees click the links below:

             Current fee schedule                      Proposed fee schedule

The current apartment lease has been in use for more than twenty years (though with some amendments including the federal "one-strike" policy). ACOP was last revised only one year ago to align policies such as emergency preferences with those in the Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Plan (Section 8 Admin Plan).

ACT’s Technical Assistance Committee (TAC) met with legal services on February 18 to discuss and review the proposed changes.

Two working sessions have been scheduled so far for CHA staff, tenant leaders, and advocates. The first session on the proposed lease was held on March 5 at the CHA central office. The second session on the lease and ACOP will place on Friday, March 7. 

There is a 60-day public comment period during which you may let CHA know what you think about these changes.  Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services (CASLS) and ACT's Technical Assistance Committee (TAC) has already sent in detailed comments on both. You may read these comments in full by clicking on the links near the end of this article.

It had been anticipated that the revised documents would be presented to the CHA Board of Commissioners for approval sometime in April. However CHA staff agreed with ACT and CASLS not to go forward with the new lease at this time.  CHA had planned to hold four site meetings for tenants to comment on the lease—at Jefferson Park, LBJ Apartments, Roosevelt Towers, and Newtowne Court/Washington Elms. These events were cancelled.

You may view or download these documents by clicking on the links below:

            Lease and Grievance Procedures:

            current lease                  proposed lease

            Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP):

            current ACOP                proposed ACOP           CHA summary of ACOP changes 

CHA has received a number of comments, including TAC/CASLS on the lease  and TAC/CASLS on ACOP

The deadline to submit comments on either the lease or ACOP is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Written comments may be submitted in person, by mail or email. 

Comments on ACOP should be addressed to:

Naomie Stephen

Cambridge Housing Authority

362 Green Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 

Telephone: 617-520-6261



Comments on the Lease should be addressed to:

Shayla Simmons

Cambridge Housing Authority

362 Green Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 

Telephone: 617-520-6217