Housing Court Meeting Minutes, 3/4/10

Attendance: Judge Fein, Judge Fields, Michael Doherty, Peter Montori, Jesse Cochin, Amy Martin, Gerry McCafferty, Jim Reis, Marcia Crutchfield, Gordon Shaw, Lidya Rodriguez, Linda Henderson, Janice Humason, Brandi Gamble-Eddington, Steve Plummer, Peter Dejnak, Karen Hansmann, Alli Stokowski, Marina Laihez, Lorraine Bernier, Eryn Tobin, Laura Saponare, Vickie Riddle

Collaboration works! We shared a few examples of the collaboration at work, including: the preservation of 3 tenancies at the Springfield Housing Authority through HAP assistance; Catholic Charities facilitating quicker court review dates to better enable tenants to get the documentation they need to get assistance; HAP having successful conversations with landlords who are more willing to preserve tenancies with HAP support; in the face of condemnations, information on tenants shared by City of Springfield with HAP so that many tenants have placements in advance of condemnation in court.

Everybody affirmed the value of the accessibility of providers at Court and expressed appreciation for the hard work of both providers and housing court staff in preserving tenancies.

Reviewed provider schedule at Court:
Monday: Tenancy Preservation Project (TPP)
Tuesday: HAP, Catholic Charities, TPP
Thursday:  HAP, Catholic Charities, Springfield Partners, TPP, Mass Justice Project
Friday:  Springfield Housing Authority; HAP

Everyone agreed that cell phone access to providers made on-site coverage at the court on Wed. unnecessary.

Housing Court information desk will be open every morning as of 8:45 am.  If a provider is running late on their expected day, please call at 413-735-6099.

Resource Directory update: Pamela will have a revised version within the week.  Please be sure to communicate to Pamela ([email protected]) if there is a change in your resources, e.g., Springfield Partners is out of money to pay rental arrearages!

Record of Service Data Forms: Suzanne Smith, network data analyst, presented initial findings of the first round of forms completed by providers.  We all agreed that a record of service must be completed at EVERY INTERACTION AT THE COURT (e.g., first court date, then follow-up), in order to meaningfully track the results of our efforts. Thank you!

We’ll be in touch within the month about our next meeting to review the data collected.

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