Bullying is harmful. We seek to enlist partners to work together to advocate for remedies, including but not limited to legislation. We have done our best to identify the issues, ideas for intervention, and have proposed the goals and vision outlined in this document. We now reach out to all individuals and organizations who have a stake in these matters, and we seek your collaboration and input. Our primary concern is for people living with age and/or disability in subsidized housing. But we recognize common challenges, concerns, and solutions that may affect other populations and we stand together with all who oppose bullying.
Current laws and practices are not adequate to protect either staff working in, or citizens (elders and disabled) living in, subsidized housing. Where bullying is uncontrolled, life is consumed by conflict, fear, stress, and illness. People are not able to live or work in peace. No one is held accountable for the quality of life in these buildings. It is difficult or impossible for citizens to get relief from bullying in subsidized buildings.
There are three types of bullying—improper, harmful, repeated efforts to control other people—bullying, social bullying, and mobbing. Bullying takes place between individuals; social bullying involves peer groups; mobbing is social bullying tolerated or supported by the institution and management.
In order to protect citizens from bullying in subsidized housing, it is essential:
- to hold landlords and management responsible and accountable to the Commonwealth for following best evidence-based practices on bullying;
- for the Commonwealth to support ongoing research and demonstration programs;
- and for the Commonwealth to promulgate and enforce evidence-based guidelines.
Goals of remedial legislation
Landlords & management companies
Landlords & management companies
Landlords & management companies will be responsible for implementing an evidence-based bullying policy with consequences; will take action to protect tenants, including to inform police or other agencies able to help resolve problems, and will bring in expert resources as needed. Landlords, management, residents, and agencies will implement best practices including training, education, and enforcement for staff and citizens to enable them to cooperate to prevent and remedy bullying, and develop a positive, supportive community.
Management and overseeing bodies will make respectful efforts to consider the needs of individuals trying to live normal, peaceful, independent lives and will involve tenants’ associations in the planning, development, and implementation of programs.
The Commonwealth will provide leadership and support for ongoing research into the causes and conditions leading to bullying, evaluation of remedial methods, and development and demonstration programs to create effective interventions
The Commonwealth, through one or more departments or agencies (DHCD and/or other appropriate departments or agencies), will provides mechanisms of external oversight and enforcement over landlords and management; access for tenants to an ombudsman; easier access to the courts and/or other mechanisms for resolution and enforcement.
The outcomes we seek
Landlords and management will assure a safe and secure environment, assure “peaceful enjoyment of their tenancy” to all tenants; and will have and implement evidence-based policies on bullying. Citizens and staff will be able to live and work together, in a supportive, positive, healthy community; treating each other with respect and dignity; will tolerate differences, and have the tools to resolve personal and social issues without resorting to inappropriate control over others. Citizens and staff will have freedom from fear; fear of eviction, isolation, exclusion, rejection, gossip, abuse, bullying, social bullying, and mobbing. Residents will be free to be part of groups (including but not limited to an elected tenants’ association) to advocate for their concerns, that might be able to offer help, support, education, and companionship to each other and help to eliminate the stress and loneliness that can impact on quality of life.
Partners of the Stop Bullying Coalition
Together we need to develop our shared goals and strategy, because solving these problems will take much energy, persistence, and the wisdom of people with a diversity of experience. Please share your ideas! Write to: StopBullyingCoalition@gmail.com