note: This took place in 2015. Please visit the site for my current project: columbiares.net
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No, I am not John Laratta, nor do I want to be. He is a perjurer. Read on...
Briefly, there is a normal residential lease agreement that is bound by a U.S. gov't contract to be at least 6 months in duration (there are other obligations in the contract - e.g. habitability, maintenance, etc.) but the contract by no means provides for a "60-day" time period after the lease renews where the rent amount can be renegotiated and re-adjusted. Part C Section 15d of the contract reads as follows: "The owner must notify the PHA of any changes in the amount of the rent to owner at least sixty days before any such changes go into effect...". When I received the notice of an increase the new leasing period had already begun one month prior. The judge refused to reference the HAP contract itself; he only took into consideration the fabricated document that the mental health center's housing cooridnators derived to denigrate and discredit me. (There was also the issue I brought up about the baseboard heat being shut off and the plaintiff was finally coaxed into saying that there was a sensor that shut the boiler heat off when the outside temperature rose above 75°F. That would be implausible with fluctuating outside temperatures but it satisfied the judge. I was respectful but none of the documents I requested to substantiate his testimony were produced. It was perfunctory.) I have a copy of the court hearing transcription available here.
Note: update here (Jan 2023) I just realized that here at the very beginning of the page I did not explain exactly why the building's baseboard heat system would get shut off manually ... people would already assume that I must be stupid or I exaggerate or whatever discrediting label that can be thought of since a human's instinct is to align with, defend, sympathize with, the person or entity that has the power or control. Of course people disagree ... whatever. Anyway, right here at the top I will insert for the impatient that due to the high altitude in my region the heat from the sun would cause the upstairs units to get uncomfortably warm on nice days in the winter. The baseboard heat would be on so they would manually shut it down. (On page 7 of the transcripts is where I talked in court about the issue.) The problem was that a couple garden-level apts (like mine was) wouldn't heat up ... it didn't bother me too much personally, but ... (now continue reading since you got this far).
Also, I'd like to mention:
Sometimes after the temperature dropped overnight the management would start up the baseboard heat again but the water in the baseboard heating system would cool enough to condense and air pockets would form. There was a manifold for 4 of the units in an access panel in the bedroom closet of my apartment and they would sometimes need to come in and bleed the air out of the lines. The lower units really needed a supplimental heat system for the concrete floor when they had the boiler heat shut down. The cold spells were annoying for a couple elderly women residents (who both passed away while I lived there) which was one of the reasons I took it all the way to eviction court. My old landlord, who is a fairly wealthy real estate broker in a firm downtown, lied under oath about the heat being shut down manually. He violated the law and it's something that can happen. That's my point.
(My upstairs elderly neighbor, who passed away while I lived there, was an executive secretary for a state Supreme Court Justice as well as a victim's advocate for the local county. She used to heat her apartment with her oven when the heat was shut down. The landlord was committing a crime against her by manually shutting down the boiler. When I learned that he was violating state statute I decided to stand up to him since he was abusing the elderly but unfortunately the county judge was supportive of him.) Oh, he also brought up the new roof that he had installed, like that was a favor for his tenants ... but he could've invested in a higher quality roof material to help with the overheating problem ... but of course he didn't. He could scapegoat some tenants & make money with his investment.
I also have heard, on fairly good authority, that the HUD Coorinators' office at the mental health center was recently audited and one of the women has abruptly quit her position. Her exact reason for leaving may have not been directly related to what she did with my case; but the audit may have exposed some overall incompetency which, in regards to what they do and their clientele, is inexcusable. My case may not have been mishandled out of deliberate maliciousness, but instead the purpose may have just been to obfuscate their negligance. I've known the women involved for close to twenty years and was dismayed that they didn't stand up to the apartment management.
This site has been modified since first published. The original first page, which contains a brief summary of my case that I had written before the hearing, has been moved to a subfolder. I wrote it while under duress from the harrassment but made it a point to leave it as it is.
Other formats of the video on this page.
text of the image of section of the HAP contract above:
(4) The HAP contract terminates automatically 180 calendar days after the last housing assistance payment to the owner.
(I just find it difficult to understand why the U.S. & state gov't would spend taxpayer money printing these things up if the people working in the housing programs are going to merely take the cultural stance and decide it's all not important enough.
The following page is out of a spiral bound handbook; but they all parrot "month-to-month lease" like it's truth.)
The plain language statement on page 77 of the
Housing Choice Voucher Program Applicant Briefing Packet
Step Six: The Lease and Housing Assistance Payments Contract
If the lease and unit are satisfactory, SHHP will enter into a contract with the landlord and you will sign a lease agreement with the landlord.
The Lease - The lease is an agreement between the Tenant and Landlord. The length of the lease term must be at least 6 months. The Tenancy Addendum (pages 63-68 of the briefing packet) will be attached to the lease.
Please refer to the Tenancy Addendam included in your Briefing Packet with more deailed informaton about the process of the HAP Contract and lease.
HAP Contract- The HAP Contract is an agreement between the landlord and Supportive Housing and Homeless Programs. This contact is to be signed for the same term as the lease.
HUD Form 52641 PartC 15d
15. Changes in Lease or Rent
d. The owner must notify the PHA of any changes in the amount of the rent to owner at least sixty days before any such changes go into effect, and the amount of the rent to owner following any such agreed change may not exceed the reasonable rent for the unit as most recently determined or redetermined by the PHA in accordance with HUD requirements.
The "evidence" given to the landlord to present in court (see my summate page):
COMMUNITY REACH CENTER
John Laratta, 7/7/2015
The rent increase you requested for Scott H -, effective 6-1-15, was requested within the time frame allowed per Housing Assistance Payment Contract guidelines of 60 days.
Jodi V -
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If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
~ James Madison
"We want and are entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens: The right to earn a living at work for which we are fitted by training and ability; equal opportunities in education, health, recreation, and similar public services; the right to vote; equality before the law; some of the same courtesy and good manners that we ourselves bring to all human relations."
~ (Dr.) Martin Luther King, Jr. from August 6, 1946 letter to editor of Atlanta newspaper.
The biggest danger to our rights today is not from government acting against the will of the majority
but from government which has become the mere instrument of this majority...
Wrong will be done as much by an all-powerful people as by an all-powerful prince.
~ James Madison
Class conflict is another concept which upsets the oppressors, since they do not wish to consider themselves an oppressive class. Unable to deny, try as they may, the existence of social classes, they preach the need for understanding and harmony between those who buy and those who are obliged to sell their labor. However, the unconcealable antagonism which exists between the two classes makes this "harmony" impossible. ~ Paulo Freire
"Only a lively appreciation of dissent's vital function at all levels of society can preserve it as a corrective to wishful thinking, self-inflation, and unperceived rigidity"
The Wrong Way Home : Uncovering the patterns of cult behavior in American society | by Arthur J. Deikman, M.D
ISBN 10: 0807029157 ISBN 13: 9780807029152
Force has no place where there is need of skill.
Photograph of my old department crewmembers & I displaying our
Battle Efficiency Award onboard the now decommissioned USS Wabash AOR-5
One of my more recent projects was converting scanned magazine articles to digital text and a Colorado history magazine (printed in 1973) included an article about Junius R. Lewis. There was an injustice committed against him that entailed gender issues as well as the racism that he had to contend with. It's a fascinating story! (The article includes references so converting it to EPUB3 with audio reader capability is an aspect that needs work.)