HAI Group Blog

Insurance, Risk Management, and Professional Development Tips for the Affordable Housing Industry.

Claims Corner: Navigating Legal Risks in Public Housing Security

Some housing agencies employ security personnel directly or through third-party services to ensure resident safety. However, these personnel can face complex and tragic situations requiring difficult decisions, as highlighted in a recent wrongful death lawsuit in Ohio in which a police officer employed by a public housing authority (PHA) fatally shot a man, claiming self-defense.

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Building Safe and Fair Housing for All: A Focus on LGBTQ+ Communities

Public housing authorities (PHAs) have an obligation to affirmatively further fair housing by combatting discrimination and taking steps to create safe and inclusive communities. Often, specific communities get left behind in efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals face hurdles to accessing safe, fair, and affordable housing. Yet, discussions to further fair housing often do not include them.

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Staying Cool in Public Housing: HUD's New Guidelines for Extreme Heat

As temperatures rise, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is taking action to ensure public housing residents can stay cool during the scorching summer months. In a June 13, 2024 notice, HUD reminded public housing authorities (PHAs) that they can utilize capital and operating funds to help residents beat the heat. Additionally, HUD clarified that PHAs may establish a policy to provide individual relief and immediately start granting relief requests from air conditioning or cooling-related surcharges or utility supplier billings based on severe or extreme heat.

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From Mitigation to Maintenance: Top Online Training Courses for Housing Professionals

As a housing professional, you juggle various responsibilities, including customer service, mitigation, mediation, transportation, and maintenance. Mastering these skills and ensuring resident safety and satisfaction doesn't happen overnight—it requires dedicated training.

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Let’s Talk About Meth Claims

Property claims related to methamphetamine are on the rise. While they’re not the most frequently reported claim—as of this writing, that distinction belongs to fire—HAI Group has seen a noticeable uptick in meth claims in recent months. Perhaps it’s because meth is relatively inexpensive to buy compared to other illicit drugs, or because meth has become more widely available, thanks in part to super labs operated by drug cartels that can produce meth in large quantities. The rise in claims may also be due to the fact that some housing authorities have begun testing for meth when units turn over, regardless of whether they suspect contamination.

Whatever the reason, if you have a meth-related claim at your housing organization, here’s what you need to know.

The sooner you file, the better

“The biggest mistake housing organizations make after discovering meth is waiting too long to file a claim,” said Alkis Liopiros, AIC-M, ACP, CRIS, a senior property claims examiner at HAI Group. “If tests confirm that you’re dealing with methamphetamine contamination, file a claim as soon as you can. Notifying us while the incident is fresh in your mind helps your insurance company and its adjusters investigate the claim more thoroughly. It can also help us close the claim more quickly, so you can get the affected units back in service faster.”

Telltale signs of meth production or use

If your housing organization isn’t testing for meth, it’s important that your maintenance workers know what to look for during routine inspections. Common signs of meth production or use include:

  • Unexplained chemical smells, often described as “sweet”
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