To the Editor:

Beware the Watertown Housing Authority (WHA), current and future residents. In September, the WHA Commission voted to increase rents with a fancy name called “rent stratification.” The WHA once again gave inconsistent statements that “The rent stratification is for the financial health and longevity of the Housing Authority to increase rents for incoming folks” and “Just so we are clear, this does not affect anyone who is currently residing in the Housing Authority.”

The WHA failed to give the accurate definition of “rent stratification” which is, the WHA commission will raise rents for incoming residents so they can first make a mockery out of the advertised sealed bidding policy, this in regards to the October snow plowing and landscaping contract. 

Second, the commission will disregard their own due diligence policy, and third the commission will consider ad hoc justifications used to support what appear to be a predetermined award for this lucrative contract that will cost both current and future residents $75,000 more.

This is not what residents would presume when their rent payments are funding needless excess costs for services. 

Yes, current WHA residents, this rent stratification isn’t for financial health, and affects you also. 

Is this commission really concerned about the residents they represent? Could rents decrease if the WHA followed state statute, federal regulations and their own procurement policies?

Credibility is defined as “The quality of being trusted and believed in.” The WHA commission receives a grade of “F” for credibility regarding the recent award of the snow plowing and landscaping contract. 

What’s further troubling is all members of the WHA commission, except the resident commissioner, serve on many other Watertown boards and commissions, including BOE, P&Z, Building Code and Conservation. What is their credibility rating on these boards and commissions?

 

Dave LeBlanc

Watertown

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