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Old 02-24-2014, 01:51 AM
 
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I am wondering if anyone on here is familiar with the Cambridge Housing Authority's Elderly/Disabled public housing? Specifically, I want to know what they do to prevent the spread of communicable disease that render some residents disabled?

In other words, some people are "disabled" and may qualify for this sort of housing because they have a highly contagious communicable disease. On the other hand, many disabled people don't have communicable diseases and don't want to catch one. For example, let's say a resident has drug-resistant tuberculosis. Do they (CHA) have designated areas for people with illnesses like that? Or are they just placed anywhere, where they could end up being your neighbor who you share vents with, elevators with, and who's open window is right next to your open window? Once that person with tuberculosis (for example) moves out or dies, how do they disinfect the unit (or do they) before the next person moves in?

I tried calling them but only got vague answers. I figure someone on here must have had the same questions. (The reason for this question is that I know someone who qualifies for elderly/disabled public housing. This housing seems to be an excellent financial arrangement - but only if it's safe.) http://www.cambridge-housing.org/For...Public-Housing
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Camberville
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I would venture to guess that very few of the illnesses are communicable. The illnesses the elderly face tend to be heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and Alzheimers.

A person could have drug-resistant TB in the apartment beneath you in a typical multi-family building. If my downstairs neighbor or one of my roommates had a contagious disease, there's no recourse.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Boston
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There would certainly be more non-discriminatory policies in place at a public housing facility which accepts/is funded by a mixture of State and Federal funds to subsidize tenant rent than at a private apartment complex. And unless a tenant disclosed a disease like TB upfront, there would be no need to know, and no reason to disclose such a thing.

The only people at serious risk would be the maintenance staff or people entering the unit to resolve maintenance issues and generally they are trained to be careful around glass, or items that would injure the skin...

The risk of using public transportation, flying or being in a hospital might be considered higher... but I don't have any statistics to prove this.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:55 PM
 
145 posts, read 207,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papaya21 View Post
There would certainly be more non-discriminatory policies in place at a public housing facility which accepts/is funded by a mixture of State and Federal funds to subsidize tenant rent than at a private apartment complex. And unless a tenant disclosed a disease like TB upfront, there would be no need to know, and no reason to disclose such a thing.

The only people at serious risk would be the maintenance staff or people entering the unit to resolve maintenance issues and generally they are trained to be careful around glass, or items that would injure the skin...

The risk of using public transportation, flying or being in a hospital might be considered higher... but I don't have any statistics to prove this.
The main concern would be moving into an apartment previously occupied by someone disabled by a highly communicable disease. I know that a certain fraction of the disabled population falls into that category, but I don't know how disability housing is disinfected in between residents or tenants.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Boston
62 posts, read 97,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauss44 View Post
The main concern would be moving into an apartment previously occupied by someone disabled by a highly communicable disease. I know that a certain fraction of the disabled population falls into that category, but I don't know how disability housing is disinfected in between residents or tenants.

These units are typically turned around/disinfected once a tenant has moved out -- and probably to much higher standards. To be honest, most public housing standards for an empty unit are superior to the private market to some degree. New rugs, paint and maintenance are generally required and much easier than trying to cover up stains/smells/dirt. Where your typical 'Garden View Apartments' would skimp on just about every aspect of rugs/paint/appliance clean-up. Also, most communicable disease needs the person who is infected to be around in order to transmit...the infection is probably not lingering about the unit =D
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:47 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papaya21 View Post
These units are typically turned around/disinfected once a tenant has moved out -- and probably to much higher standards. To be honest, most public housing standards for an empty unit are superior to the private market to some degree. New rugs, paint and maintenance are generally required and much easier than trying to cover up stains/smells/dirt. Where your typical 'Garden View Apartments' would skimp on just about every aspect of rugs/paint/appliance clean-up. Also, most communicable disease needs the person who is infected to be around in order to transmit...the infection is probably not lingering about the unit =D
One thing, elderly/disabled housing does not allow tenants to have washing machines. What about the community laundry room they have to use? A lot of people wash clothes in cold water and that doesn't kill germs. There is usually one laundry building for the entire community. That might be a concern.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:50 PM
 
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I live in one of these buildings. This isn't something that has ever crossed my mind. I've lived here long enough that if it was a problem I'd probably of heard about it. In terms of disinfecting units I don't know about diseases but I do know my current apartment was one of the messiest in the system due to the previous tenant - it had bed bugs and all - but it seems pretty fine to me now. Maintenance in general is pretty constant here, far more so than any private building I've lived in. Some people might be a bit loopy at times (due to issues like schizophrenia or dementia) but they are mostly pretty friendly and respectful. It's a good place to live if you can get a unit.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Boston
62 posts, read 97,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
One thing, elderly/disabled housing does not allow tenants to have washing machines. What about the community laundry room they have to use? A lot of people wash clothes in cold water and that doesn't kill germs. There is usually one laundry building for the entire community. That might be a concern.

I am not a scientist but I think the absolute worst thing that could be left in a washing machine is human waste. This is most certainly a public health risk but you will not be acquiring TB or hepatitis from this type of exposure.

And if you dry your clothes in the dryer, assuming for at least 30 minutes or more, you've definitely killed off things like bed bugs and other sort of infestations. However, this issue with public washing machines is the same at a laundry-mat. You'll find that in public housing there is always a tenant ready to call the maintenance line with any and all complaints. These kinds of issues or contamination are dealt with quickly and effectively. Hot water and bleach will clean any surface wonderfully.
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