Bromley-Heath to get new advisory board

April 12, 2013
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Residents of the Bromley-Heath housing development will go to the polls on May 30 to elect a new tenant advisory board, according to a Boston Housing Authority (BHA) official.

Once elected, the new advisory board will replace the Tenant Management Corporation (TMC), which was the tenant group for many years and had a rocky relationship with the BHA.

“This board would be the same as and have the same role as any other Local Tenant Organization board—also referred to as Tenant Task Forces—at other BHA developments,” BHA spokesperson Lydio Agro said in an email to the Gazette. “It is a completely separate entity from the TMC.”

She said the TMC still exists, but no longer has a contract with the BHA.

TMC, which was founded by Mildred Hailey, ran the housing development for 40 years before the BHA took over last spring. The TMC was a national model of tenant management for public housing. It is unclear what, if any, role TMC now has at Bromley-Heath.

The BHA had said when Hailey stepped down last spring that the TMC would act as an advisory group identical to the tenant organizations that the BHA has at other developments. When asked about that, Agro replied, “As residents of the Bromley-Heath development, as is the case with any resident at the development, former or current members of TMC have some say in what occurs in their community.”

Agro said that residents at every BHA development have the right to hold elections to select members of their community to represent them. She said the Local Tenant Organization (LTO) is typically an independent nonprofit organization.

“The LTO represents the tenants in its development and communicates on their behalf with the BHA regarding matters pertaining to management and policy concerns,” said Agro. “They also often organize various activities for residents of the development.”

The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) is coordinating the election. Juan Gonzalez of JPNDC said that residents could nominate themselves or somebody else and must have 25 signatures. The deadline for nominations was April 9.

Gonzalez said the BHA will then review the nominations and signatures. After the review, there will be two events to present the candidates to residents. Gonzalez gave tentative dates of May 9 and 18 for those events. He said 12 residents will be elected to the board.