Swansea Housing Authority
Dear Swansea Housing Authority Resident:
On behalf of the Swansea Housing Authority’s board members and staff, we are happy to welcome you to your new home.
We are extremely proud of our development here at Martin Court. You have entered an environment where the staff is well-trained and dedicated to providing a safe, affordable and decent home for you.
Residing in a development such as this will be, for most people, a new experience. You will be sharing with many other residents, and the Swansea Housing Authority, the mutual obligation to make the development a pleasant and attractive example of community life in our town.
The Housing Authority must provide efficient management as its contribution to sound financial administration. To this end, we will repair and maintain the property and, with your assistance, keep it attractive and a credit to the community.
All occupants should be aware of their neighbor’s right to privacy and peaceful enjoyment of their apartment. Management will gladly receive your suggestions or observations and will advise and aid you in meeting and resolving problems that may arise; it will cooperate to the fullest extent in making your occupancy agreeable and pleasant. Cooperation of all concerned is the basis for success in any housing development.
Board Members and Staff
Michael Berube, State Appointee and Chair
Richard Bates, Vice-Chair
Wayne Grey, Member
Ronald Silvia, Member
James Dolan, Member
Constance Desbiens, Dartmouth Housing Authority Management Agent
Sharon Medeiros, Assistant
Manny Corroa, Maintenance
The Board of Directors of the Swansea Housing Authority meet on the second Tuesday of every month. These meetings are held at 5:00 p.m. in the Community Center. All tenants are welcome to attend any and all Board meetings.
Management Office and Maintenance Numbers
The management office of the Swansea Housing Authority is located at 100 Gardners' Neck Road. It is open from 8:00 a.m. to noon, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and until 3:00 p.m. on Thursday. The office phone number is 508-679-5828.
The maintenance emergency number is 508-726-1193.
(SEE SECTION ON REPAIRS AND EMERGENCIES ON PAGES 7 AND 8 FOR DETAILS ON WHEN TO USE EACH NUMBER.)
FOR ALL MEDICAL OR FIRE EMERGENCIES, PLEASE CALL 911.
All residents receive a copy of their lease when they first move in. Your lease is the
legally binding contract between you and the Swansea Housing Authority; it assures your right to live in your apartment so long as you abide by it and the attached rules and regulations. Read your lease and this handbook carefully. Please feel free to ask the office staff about any parts which you do not understand.
Your rent is due and payable on or before the fifth (5th) of the month and will be considered delinquent on the seventh (7th) of the month. A late fee of $25.00 will be assessed for any rent not paid on time. Your rent must be paid by check or money order made out to the Swansea Housing Authority. If you are away during rent payment time, it is your responsibility to contact the office about the rent payment. You may mail or hand-deliver your rent payment. There is a drop slot in the door to the office.
Rent Calculation and Re-Certification
The rent for your apartment is based on your income and family size. Each year it is necessary for you to update that information for the Authority which is done during the annual rent recertification held in September, effective the following January.. ALL RECERTIFICATION INFORMATION OBTAINED BY THE AUTHORITY IS KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. If your income or family size changes at any other time during the year, you should notify management right away. In order to maintain an orderly, effectively managed property, management needs to know who lives at your address.
Apartment Inspection Policy
It shall be the policy of the Swansea Housing Authority to inspect all apartments at least once a year. A 48-hour notice will be sent prior to the inspection date. It is the responsibility of the tenant (as outlined in the Lease) to keep the apartment clean and safe. Management has the right to act on any concerns brought to their attention without prior notice to the tenant. There may also be a yearly inspection of all apartments by DHCD (Department of Housing and Community Development).
Mailbox keys issued are security keys and cannot be duplicated. Tenants will be obligated to pay a fee of $5.00 for the cost to replace a lost key. Any tenant going on vacation should notify the U.S. Postal Service so they can place a hold on your mail.
AUTHORIZATION TO HOLD MAIL forms are located on the top of mailboxes.
Temporary Tenant Vacancy
As a resident of our development, you must notify management if you are going away on an extended vacation. If you have a prolonged illness in which hospitalization or nursing home care is necessary, you must obtain a statement from your doctor, stating your illness and the date in which you can return to your unit. Your rent must be paid during your absence.
It shall be the policy of the Swansea Housing Authority that NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES are to be consumed on any property of the housing authority other than inside tenant’s individual apartment.
No Smoking Policy
The Swansea Housing Authority adopted the following NO SMOKING policy for the purpose of maintaining a healthy environment for residents and staff.
NO SMOKING will be permitted in the common areas of the Swansea Housing Authority. The common areas consist of the parking lots, community room, laundry room, office and all common hallways.
Effective January 1, 2015, there is to be no smoking in the apartments, either by tenants, or any guest of the tenants. No smoking is allowed while sitting in your car unless you are leaving the property. You must exit the grounds in order to smoke. Violation of this policy will result in an eviction.
RESIDENT COOPERATION WITH THE NO SMOKING POLICY IS MANDATORY.
Residents are not allowed to obstruct, store or place any rubbish, trash, vehicles or any other items in the common areas or parking areas. This includes walkways, stairs, hallways or entrance ways. These areas are for entering and departing the buildings only.
The grounds around each building are the property of the Swansea Housing Authority. Residents must seek permission from the Director before planting a garden, pruning, trimming or removing trees, shrubs, plants, flowers or bushes.
No boats, trailers, campers, motor bikes, all-terrain vehicles, pools (including wading pools), grills, screen houses, swing sets or playground equipment are allowed on housing authority property. Nothing is to be placed on the lawn that will interfere with the mowing of the lawn
Community Room and Patio Use
The Community Room is for the use of all residents. Be sure to turn off the light when you leave at night. The Community Room is open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. It can be reserved by RESIDENTS ONLY for private use. You MUST call the office to reserve a time and date. If you use the room for private use, you are responsible for cleaning the room and the kitchen before you leave and for disposing of all trash. Please remember that you, as the tenant, are responsible for the conduct of all guests. PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE COMMUNITY CENTER. THERE IS NO SMOKING OR CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL IN THE COMMUNITY CENTER.
Maximum capacity of the Community Room is 50 people.
Tenants and their guests are encouraged to use the patio. Please remember that any and all furniture and fixtures are to remain in place.
Laundry Room Use
The laundry room is open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for your convenience. If anyone is using the laundry room facilities on your behalf, please instruct them on the proper use of the equipment.
Remember, the only persons authorized to use the laundry are residents or their homemakers. Please do not use more than one washer and one dryer at a time. This will enable others to use the facilities when necessary.
Also please pay attention to start time of the washers. Allow at least five (5) minutes between machines to prevent overflowing and flooding.
Please remember to:
Clean out the washing machine after use;
Clean out the lint traps immediately after use;
Do not wash rugs or animal blankets;
Please follow posted instructions as to the amount of detergent to use.
It is the policy of the Swansea Housing Authority to follow the Pet Policy regulation set forth by the Department of Housing and Community Development. In short, a tenant is allowed one pet which falls into the category and restrictions as set by DHCD. A pet deposit of $160.00 or one month’s rent (whichever is less) must be paid when submitting a Pet Waiver application. Accompanying this must also be a full set of veterinarian documentations, with proper information, which must be updated yearly. A complete Pet Policy packet may be obtained at the management office.
NO TENANT IS ALLOWED TO OBTAIN A PET WITHOUT FILLING OUT THE PROPER PAPERWORK FIRST.
Residents are not allowed to feed animals other than a hummingbird feeder. Throwing out bread or other food on the ground attracts coyotes, raccoons, cats, pigeons, seagulls and other wild animals. These animals carry diseases and can be a nuisance. Tenants are prohibited from feeding or harboring stray or wild animals.
Residents with pets must feed them inside their home. No food is to be left outside.
It is the policy of the Swansea Housing Authority to have all trash placed in plastic bags and put inside the Dumpsters. Please be sure that all garbage is wrapped. It is the responsibility of the tenant to dispose of their own trash, not that of the maintenance employee. We do recycle! There are receptacles for paper and bottles at each Dumpster.
If you have any large trash that will not fit in the Dumpsters, you are responsible for making arrangement for the proper disposal of those items. NO ITEMS ARE TO BE LEFT BY THE SIDE OF THE DUMPSERS!
Nothing is to be flushed down toilets except tissue paper. No garbage is to be put down the kitchen drains. Also, no disposing of needles, adult diapers and other such items is allowed! This causes sewer backups which become expensive to the Authority
Your apartment can only be occupied by those persons listed on your lease or added thereto, in writing, with the approval of Management. Guests and visitors cannot stay overnight with tenants for more than 21 nights in a twelve (12) month period without specific written approval from the Swansea Housing Authority. Tenants having overnight guests are required to call the office and inform us as to who it is and how long they are staying.
Friends and relatives are welcomed; however, a constant overnight guest may constitute a violation of the guest policy, thereby putting the tenant in violation of his/her lease agreement. The tenant is responsible for the conduct of their guest at all times while on the housing authority premises. The tenant is responsible for damages to property and noise complaints caused by their guests.
The Swansea Housing Authority has adopted the following noise policy for the purpose of resident relations.
A certain amount of noise can be expected in apartment living. Residents and guests are expected to minimize their noise as not to disturb others. Conversations in common areas should be kept to a reasonable volume. Televisions, radios and other similar devices should not be used in the common areas.
Quiet hours will be between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. During those hours, apartment doors should be closed and all noise, conversations, televisions, radios, etc., should be contained within your apartment.
Courtesy hours are those hours not specifically designated as quiet hours. Courtesy hours are a matter of common sense. This means that if you or your guests are making noise loud enough to disturb your neighbors inside or outside of your apartment, then you are in violation of courtesy hours. Thus, loud conversations, televisions, radios and other disturbances will not be tolerated.
Violators of the noise policy will be called by Management on first offense. Subsequent offenses will be handled by written notice and/or private conference.
Repairs and Maintenance
If your apartment needs repairs, please notify the office by calling 508-679-5828. Please call the office right away if you notice conditions that may get worse, such as leaks or bugs.
Maintenance personnel operate on written orders from the office. DO NOT stop the maintenance man in the yard and ask him to make a repair.
Although management has a duplicate key, it will not be used to enter your apartment without your permission, except in an emergency or after 48 hours written notice, If you prefer, you may make arrangements to either be at home or have an adult friend there to let the worker into your apartment. There is no charge for maintenance or repairs except for the repair of damage caused by the tenant or guests. Repairs will be done on an emergency basis first, and with the judgment of the maintenance staff.
On Call Service Policy
Maintenance employees are available for EMERGENCY repairs after regular business hours.
They can be reached via cell phones for the following emergency situations:
Fires – after calling 911 first!
Electric power failure – apartment related only – all others call
Broken water pipes
No heat or hot water
Cell phone numbers: Manny - 508-726-1193.
Dartmouth Housing Authority (if maintenance cannot be reached): 508-994-1424.
All other maintenance needs should be reported to the office during normal working hours.
If you should lock yourself out of your unit a Lock Box is located on the outside North wall. Please push the button (which notifies the Swansea Police Department), identify yourself and they will come and unlock your apartment.
The Swansea Housing Authority is responsible for snow removal on all walkways and parking lots. In the event of a major snow storm (in excess of three (3) inches), the plowing will be done by the maintenance staff.
If you are warned of a snow storm in advance, all cars should be moved to the designated snow removal parking places. The Swansea Housing Authority assumes no responsibility for any damage done to any vehicles left on the roadway.
The main driveways, walkways and accessible parking spaces will be cleared first. Maintenance will clear individual parking spaces only after everything else has been cleaned. Residents are responsible for clearing snow from their vehicles.
At certain times it may become necessary for maintenance to request residents to move their vehicles temporarily. When this occurs, all residents are expected to cooperate so that plowing can take place as quickly as possible.
Should the maintenance staff be working overtime (nights and/or weekends) clearing snow, they are there to do only the main walkways and roadways. All extra snow removal in parking spaces shall be done during normal working hours (unless the storm is of abnormal proportions, at which time Management will make the appropriate decisions.)
Management encourages residents not to drive on roads after a storm unless it is absolutely necessary.
Tenants’ Vehicle and Parking Policy
This authority is not responsible for vandalism, theft, or damage of the tenants’ or guests’ vehicle. Residents are not allowed to wash their vehicles on housing authority property.
The Swansea Housing Authority is responsible for assigning tenants who have cars a numbered parking space upon signing a lease. The tenant must provide to the office a valid automobile registration.
There will only be one vehicle per tenant allowed to park in the tenant parking spaces; any other vehicle is to be parked off the premises of the Authority.
There is an area designated for “Visitor Parking” between Buildings B and C. All health care aids and guests must use this lot. Parking is not allowed curbside as this is a Fire Lane.
Management has the right to make adjustments to parking arrangements as they see fit if the need arises.
Entry ways are shared with your neighbors. DO NOT BLOCK STAIRWAYS OR DOORWAYS with plants, furniture or anything that you or your neighbor could trip over. ABSOLUTELY NO CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, HANGING PLANTS OR ANY OTHER ORNAMENTAL DECORATIONS ARE TO BE HUNG FROM CEILINGS OR RAILS AT ENTRANCES.
Please be sure to close the doors all the way when entering or exiting. Do not prop the doors open as this burns out the transformers!