Northampton Media: “Passing the Buck on Salvo House Hazards”

Northampton Media continues its coverage of conditions at Salvo House:

Passing the Buck on Salvo House Hazards

…One tenant living on the third floor said that he had to put sheets over the windows because he had no heat, and that it took the maintenance staff seven weeks to replace his lightbulb. He also said the first floor stairwell had been stained with someone’s diarrhea for several days. Another tenant, speaking before [Northampton Housing Authority Executive Director Jon] Hite’s arrival, lamented the absence of a “town hall” forum to bring problems to Hite’s attention, since his office had been unresponsive to letters and his email address was not available to the public…

Last week, we reported tenants’ allegations that Don Moran, the volunteer who ran the dining hall, was sexually harassing and threatening other residents. I spoke Dec. 10 with John Lutz, the associate director of Highland Valley Elder Services, which runs the dining program. Lutz did not deny the substance of the tenants’ complaints, stretching back several years. He called Moran “not perfect” but still a “valued member of that operation.” He said Highland Valley was engaged in ongoing dialogue with the Salvo House tenants to reach a satisfactory compromise. “We’ve tried to get him to change his behavior instead of doing away with him—nobody’s perfect,” Lutz said. He said he hadn’t heard any new complaints since last spring when Moran’s role was altered to remove him from some client contact. Citing confidentiality, he declined to discuss further details.

According to Lutz, Highland Valley needs to keep Moran on board because no other volunteers have stepped up. However, tenants’ association president Danny Kahle said at the Dec. 12 meeting that several residents have quit their dining hall duties because they’re afraid to work with Moran, and would return if he were removed…

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See also:

Northampton Media: “Salvo House Report” (12/16/09)

Northampton Media: “The Walter Salvo House: A Conversation with Housing Authority Director Jon Hite” (12/9/09)

Text of Plassmann Letter to Housing Authority Director Jonathan Hite (12/8/09)

Northampton Media: “Ward Three Councilor-Elect Angela Plassmann Takes on the Housing Authority” (12/7/09)

Northampton Redoubt: “Affordable Housing with a capital A” (12/6/09)