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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

RESOLVE CREATING A COMMISSION TO STUDY WAYS TO PREVENT BULLYING OF TENANTS IN PUBLIC AND SUBSIDIZED MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING

     Resolved, there is hereby established a commission to consist of 19 members, 1 of whom shall be the secretary of the executive office of health and human services, or a designee, who shall serve as chairperson of the commission; 1 of whom shall be the attorney general, or a designee; 1 of whom shall be the secretary of the executive office of elder affairs, or a designee; 1 of whom shall be the undersecretary of the department of housing and community development, or a designee; 1 of whom shall be the commissioner of the department of mental health, or a designee; 2 of whom shall be the chairpersons of the joint committee on housing, or their designees; 2 of whom shall be the chairpersons of the joint committee on elder affairs, or their designees; 2 of whom shall be the chairpersons of the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse, or their designees; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; and 6 of whom shall be appointed by the governor, and shall be representatives of housing and consumer protection advocacy organizations, such as the Massachusetts Association of Independent Living Centers, Inc., Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Inc., the Massachusetts Alliance of HUD Tenants, the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants, MassNAHRO and the Stop Bullying Coalition, and legal services organizations, such as Mass Law Reform Institute and Disability Law Center, and individuals with direct experience and knowledge of the issue who can contribute to the commission. The commission shall investigate and study the prevalence and impact of the bullying of tenants, with a focus on elderly and disabled tenants, in public and subsidized multi-family housing. The investigation and study shall include, but not be limited to, identifying the conditions that give rise to and cause bullying and researching successful methods for preventing bullying in other contexts, including but not limited to schools, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, the workplace and housing. This research shall be used to identify and develop best practices; raise public awareness; and propose public policy recommendations and legislation necessary to protect tenants from harm and preserve their rights. The commission shall identify and invite to participate in and contribute to the commission: individuals with experience and knowledge of bullying in public or subsidized housing, including tenants who have been victimized by bullying; managers who coordinate resident services; industry professionals and stakeholders; and individuals who have direct experience with bullying prevention. The commission shall hold public meetings in various locations throughout the commonwealth in recognition of the difficulty some individuals may have in travelling long distances to attend commission meetings. The commission shall report to the general court the results of its investigation and study and its recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect by filing the same with the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the joint committee on housing, the joint committee on elder affairs and the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse not later than December 31, 2017.

Approved August 10, 2016.