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Housing authority releases statement on removal of items from properties

In response to misinformation and false accusations being reported through various social media platforms, Randy Earle with the Housing Authority of Middlesboro (PHA) issued a notice to clarify what has and is occurring with respect to removal of various items from the PHA premises.

At the outset, all parties are to be reminded that Earle lived in the same Housing Authority for over eight years, and considers himself to be more sensitive to the resident’s privacy and peaceful enjoyment of their lives than those who are spreading misinformation on social media.

However, like every Housing Authority in the state of Kentucky and throughout the nation, the Housing Authority of Middlesboro (PHA) Lease includes numerous clauses that:

• Restrict or forbid the certain items from being stored on PHA property;

• Restrict or forbid modification or alterations to PHA property;

• Restrict or forbid the accumulation and storage of any belongings or possessions if they are stored in such a manner that limits access to the apartment, if they are considered a health and safety violation by HUD, if they are considered a fire safety violation by the State of Kentucky;

• Restrict or forbid various types of behavior that affect other residents.

The press release goes on to say that not only are these clauses and restrictions often required under HUD regulations, they exist for a good reason — namely, to ensure the health, safety and peaceful enjoyment of the residents.

Every lease contains the following clauses, and every resident is aware of them. Here are a few:

• Lease Clause 5.2: The tenant agrees to keep the apartment and such other areas as may be assigned to his/her exclusive use in a clean and safe condition. This prohibits accumulation of, but is not limited to, newspapers and other paper materials, excessive storage of boxes, clothing and aluminum cans.

Residents are to store only chairs which are to be used for outdoor use on porches. Furniture intended for use as interior furniture, such as upholstered chairs and couches are not allowed on the outside premises. Grills, bicycles, children’s riding toys, etc. must be stored behind the residents apartment in a neat and orderly manner as not to create a hazard. Walkways, stairways and doorways must be kept clear and passable at all times;

• Lease Clause 5.3.g.: The tenant shall not install additional or different locks or gates on any doors or windows of the unit without the written permission of the Authority;

• Lease Clause 12.1: The tenant agrees to: a) keep the dwelling unit and other areas assigned for the tenants exclusive use in a clean and safe condition. b) use all appliances, fixtures and equipment in a safe manner and only for the purposes for which they are intended. c) not litter the grounds or common areas of the property;

• Lease Clause 13.1: The tenant shall not do any of the following without first obtaining the landlord’s written permission: c) attach awnings or window guards in the dwelling unit. d) attach or place any fixtures, signs or fences on the building(s), the common areas or the property grounds. h) place any aerials, antennas or other electrical connections on the dwelling unit; install additional or different locks or gates on any doors or windows of the dwelling unit;

• Lease Clause 16.2: The landlord shall not terminate or refuse to renew the lease other than for serious or repeated violation of material terms of the lease, such as, but not limited to the following: h) failure to abide by applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health or safety. i) failure to dispose of garbage, waste and rubbish in a safe and sanitary manner. j) failure to use electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other equipment in a safe manner. k) acts of destruction, defacement or removal of any part of the premises, or failure to cause guests to refrain from such acts;

• House Rules: 2) The tenant agrees not to do anything in the dwelling unit, or bring or keep anything therein which may in any way increase the risk of fire of which shall conflict with fire laws or regulations of the fire department or with any insurance policy on the building. 5) stairways, entrances, or walkways in the Housing development shall not be obstructed with bicycles, toys, etc., and used for any other purposes than to enter into and exit from buildings. 6) porches, patios, and decks shall not be obstructed with mops, brooms, indoor furniture, tires, etc. that are not classified as porch, patio, or deck furniture. 7) tenants are required to used containers for disposal of all trash/ the tenant is responsible for the Herbie Curbie assigned to his or her unit. 10) motorcycles or ATV’s must be parked in regular parking spaces, and may not be ridden in the Housing Authority except to enter and leave the development. At no time are they permitted on walks or grassy areas or breezeways.

According to the press release, these are just a few of the conditions under which the apartments are leased and managed.

It continues to read that despite social media reports, not everything that was hauled away was disposed of. Some items were stored by the PHA at the request of the resident, until the resident can make other arrangements. Some items that were disposed of were done so at the request of the resident.

“Most of our residents and many of the citizens of Middlesboro know me, and how I’ve managed the Housing Authority for the past 20 years,” Earle said. “Have I ever attempted to victimize anyone in these 20 years? Have I been unfair or harsh toward anyone in these 20 years?”

Earle wrote, “As for comparing this Housing Authority to the ‘Trump Administration,’ I have no doubt the citizens of Middlesboro and the residents of the Housing Authority will instantly recognize the motives of a person who chooses to use such absurd and bizarre methods instead of carefully researching the facts,” he said. “Ridiculous accusations are a rude and unfair way of handling disputes or for dealing with your fellow citizen, but unfortunately I think we’ll agree it is common practice these days.”

Earle wants to remind the public that he and his staff stand ready to assist anyone who has questions or concerns with this or any other matter and he encourages the community to contact them with any questions.

The Middlesboro Housing Authority can be contacted by calling 606-248-5900.