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Provincetown Housing Authority Emergency Case Plan
STANDARD EMERGENCY CASE PLAN FOR THE PROVINCETOWN HOUSING AUTHORITY
Pursuant to 760 CMR 5.1 1, the Provincetown Housing Authority (PHA) hereby adopts the following Emergency Case Plan.
1. STATEMENT OF POLICY AND PURPOSE. Through this Plan, the PHA seeks to establish a fair and uniform standard to be applied to all applicants for Emergency Case Status to the end that similarly situated applicants will receive similar treatment. Requirements as to evidence, documentation and verification employed by the PHA in making determinations of Emergency Case Status shall be reasonable in relation to the realistic capacity and resources of the applicant.
11. DEFINITION OF HOMELESS APPLICANT. As required by 760 CMR 5.11 and consistent with the definition in 5.03, the PHA shall define a “Homeless Applicant” as an applicant who has been or is imminently faced with displacement from his/her “Primary Residence” as a result of circumstances described in Section Ill below, and who:
(A) is without a place to live or is in a living situation in which there is a significant immediate and direct threat to the life or safety of the applicant or a household member which situation would be alleviated by placement in an appropriate unit; and
(B) has made reasonable efforts to locate alternative housing; and
(C) has not caused or substantially contributed to the safety – or life-threatening situation; and (D) has pursued available ways to prevent or avoid the safety – or life-threatening situation by seeking assistance through the courts or appropriate administrative or enforcement agencies.
“Primary Residence” is defined by 760 CMR 5.03 as the principal home (domicile) occupied by all members of an applicant household not less than nine months of the year.
111. THE PHA SHALL GRANT PRIORITY 4 -EMERGENCY CASE STATUS to an otherwise eligible and qualified “Homeless Applicant” who meets the definition in Section Il above, and who is displaced from his/her “Primary Residence” under the following circumstances:
(A) Homeless and Facing a Significant Immediate and Direct Threat to the Life or Safety of the Applicant or any Household Member for Causes Other Than the Fault of the Applicant or Member of the Applicant Household. Applicants are “homeless and facing a significant immediate and direct threat to life or safety” if they meet the definition set out in Section Il above. “Causes other than the fault of the applicant or member of the applicant household” shall mean causes outside their reasonable control, including but not limited to substandard housing conditions which directly and substantially endanger or impair the health, safety, or well-being of the family, and other circumstances as determined by the PHA.
(B) Severe Medical Emergencies. An applicant is suffering a severe medical emergency if the applicant or member of the applicant household is determined by the PHA to suffer from an illness or injury posing a severe and medically documented threat to life or safety which has been significantly caused by the lack of suitable housing or as to which the lack of suitable housing is a substantial impediment to treatment or recovery.
(C) Abusive Situation. An applicant is in an abusive situation if the applicant or member of the applicant household is determined by the PHA to be a victim of abuse as defined in the Abuse Prevention Act (G.L. c.209A, which abuse constitutes a significant and direct threat to life or safety. The Abuse Prevention Act defines “abuse” as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between “family or household members”: (1) attempting to cause or causing physical harm; (2) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; or (3) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat 01′ duress. “Family or household members” are individuals who are related by blood or man•iage, have a child together, or who now or formerly resided in the same household or dated each other.
(D) Applicants deemed eligible for the PHA’s Housing First Initiative (HFI) program are deemed eligible for an Emergency Case status,
IV. ADMINISTRATION OF THE PLAN
(A) Applications. Emergency Case applications shall be processed using the same application procedures, determination of eligibility procedures, verification procedures, and appeal procedures as Standard Applicants. In view of the nature of Emergency Cases, the PHA shall make every reasonable effort to process Emergency Case applications promptly and to make timely determinations of eligibility or ineligibility. If the applicant is found to be eligible and qualified, but not to qualify for Emergency Case Status, he or she shall be treated as a Standard Applicant.
(B) Placement. When an applicant has been determined by the PHA to qualify as an Emergency Case applicant, the applicant shall be offered the next appropriate and available unit, in accordance with the priority ranking of 760 CMR 5.09(1) and the preference ranking of 760 CMR If no appropriate unit is then available, the applicant shall remain as an Emergency Case priority on the waiting list for each appropriate housing program and bedroom size. If the PHA determines that an applicant granted Emergency Case Status but not yet offered a unit has obtained permanent housing suitable for his/her household size and income, the applicant shall no longer be considered an Emergency Case applicant, and shall remain on the appropriate waiting lists as a Standard Applicant.
(C) Records. The PHA shall maintain records with regard to Emergency Case applicants in accordance with 760 CMR 5.16.
(D) Relationship to Affirmative Action Goals. If the PHA or DHCD at any time determines that the number of applicants granted Emergency Case Status substantially interferes with the achievement by the PHA of its Affirmative Action goals, then this Plan shall be revised, upon public notice and in conformity with DHCD requirements, to maintain a proper balance between Emergency Case and Affirmative Action applicants.
V. PROCEDURES FOR PROCESSING EMERGENCY CASE APPLICATIONS. Upon receipt of an application for Emergency Case Status, the PHA shall determine whether the applicant is apparently eligible based solely on the information in the application. If so, it shall follow the procedures below. The applicant must qualify under each of the criteria set forth below:
(A) Determine whether the applicant is a “Homeless Applicant” as defined above, and if so;
(B) Determine whether displacement has been or will be from the applicant’s “Primary Residence,” as defined above, and if so;
(C) Determine whether the applicant meets all of the requirements in any one of the Paragraphs (1, 2, or 3) below.
1. Requirement of Paragraph 1: The loss of housing was not caused by the fault of the applicant or household member.
2. Requirements of Paragraph 2: a. The applicant or a member of the applicant household is suffering an illness or injury which poses a severe and medically documented threat to life or safety; and b. The medical emergency has either been significantly caused by lack of suitable housing or lack of suitable housing is a substantial impediment to treatment or recovery. 3. Requirements of Paragraph 3: a. The applicant or a member of the applicant household is the victim of abuse as defined in Section Ill (C); and b. The abuse constitutes a significant immediate and direct threat to life or safety of the applicant or a member of the applicant household.
If the criteria in Sections V (A) and (B) and the requirements of Paragraph l, 2 or 3 of Section V (C) above have been met, then:
(D) Determine whether the applicant is eligible under the standards set forth in 760 CMR 5.06 and 5.07.
(E) Determine whether the applicant is qualified under the standards set forth in 760 CMR 5.08.