Boston Housing Authority

Policies > Civil Rights Protection Plan: Civil Rights Hotline

Civil Rights Protection Plan

Chapter 6:Civil Rights Hotline

The Office of Civil Rights has established a non-emergency 24 hour Hotline for the reporting of incidents at housing developments. This telephone number is clearly posted in all development management offices.
 
The hotline is not intended to replace the requirement of completing the Administrative Report Form.  Residents reporting incidents at the development office must be interviewed by management staff at the development. Development staff should not refer a resident to the hotline when the incident is reported at the development.
 
During regular business hours, Office of Civil Rights staff are responsible for responding to incidents reported through this number. The following procedures shall apply to these calls. 

  • Identify emergency situations and get immediate police assistance if the situation warrants.
  • Inform the Reporter that this is a non-emergency number, and that if immediate police assistance is required they should call 9-1-1.
  • List the call in the Office of Civil Rights Phone Log. All calls received via this telephone line must be listed in the log book.
  • When speaking with the reporter make arrangements to schedule a personal interview with  the reporter, unless the reporter refuses to identify him/herself. This interview may be conducted at the Office of Civil Rights or at a location convenient to both parties, or by telephone. Once the Form is completed the Response Procedures contained herein must be adhered to.
  • Inform the tenant of their right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Fair Housing Enforcement Center, under the Fair Housing Act, when the caller reports bias motivated verbal harassment, threats, intimidation or coercion.
  • Inform the tenant of the procedures that the BHA will follow during its administrative inquiry into the incident.
  • When the caller reports verbal harassment, threats, intimidation or coercion, inform the tenant of the possible relief available if the BHA administrative inquiry or any Police Department investigation uncovers evidence of a civil rights violation, i.e. obtaining a no trespass order or temporary restraining order against the offender, emergency transfer to protect the tenant, eviction of the offender, etc. 

Procedure During Non-Business Hours

  • During non-business hours including weekends and holidays, the following procedures shall apply to calls received during these hours:
  • The Office of Civil Rights will forward the hotline to the BHA Police 24-hour dispatch center, which will:
  • Identify emergency situations and request immediate police assistance if the situation warrants.
  • Request the name of the Reporter, and telephone number or address which  will allow the Office of Civil Rights to contact him/her on the next business day. The Reporter should be advised that it is not necessary to provide their full name, however, they must provide a contact number or address.
  • Complete the Administrative Report Form (CRARF) when the caller reports verbal harassment, threats, intimidation or coercion.
  • When appropriate, dispatch a patrol officer to complete an incident report.