The purpose of this policy is to set a framework for the prevention and eradication of bedbug infestation at the Housing Authority. Techniques and procedures are detailed in the Bedbug Prevention and Treatment Action Plan.
This policy complies with the requirements of PIH Notice 2012-17.
Bedbugs are considered a pest of significant public health importance by the EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The increase in bedbug infestations is due, in part, to lack of knowledge regarding the complex measures needed to prevent and control bedbugs, changes in pesticide availability and technology, and increased resistance of bedbugs to available pesticides.
IV. Admission to the Public Housing Program
The PHA will not deny tenancy to a potential resident on the basis of the tenant having experienced a prior bedbug infestation, nor will the Agency give residential preference to any tenant based on a response to a question regarding prior exposure to bedbugs.
V. Bedbug Control
The PHA will incorporate techniques of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in its effort to control infestation. Successful IPM requires efforts from both PHA staff and tenants. These techniques shall include tenant/staff education, preventive measures and corrective measures.
The PHA will provide information about bedbug eradication and prevention to potential tenants during the pre-occupancy Orientation session. The PHA may periodically conduct additional training sessions or distribute educational materials to tenants. The PHA will provide ongoing training to staff and tenants that includes bedbug prevention and eradication.
VII. Preventive Measures
In addition to the responsibilities of the PHA to educate tenants and staff regarding bedbug eradication, the PHA will conduct preventive measures to hinder infestation. The PHA will actively engage residents in these efforts to prevent and eliminate bedbugs.
At lease-up, the PHA will advise the new tenant of preventive measures available at no cost to them before they move furniture into the unit. The PHA will conduct a post move-in orientation with the family within thirty calendar days of the tenant moving into a unit. In the course of this orientation, the PHA will conduct a brief unit inspection for signs of any infestation, including bedbugs. Appropriate treatment will be arranged as necessary.
VIII. Corrective Measures
The PHA will respond to tenant reports of bedbugs within 24 hours. The PHA will schedule an inspection, advise the tenant on interim controls and arrange for treatment if necessary. If treatment is required, the PHA may schedule treatment for units adjacent to the unit that first reported the infestation. Procedures related to corrective measures are detailed in the Bedbug Action Plan.
IX. Cost of Treatment
The tenant shall not be required to contribute to the cost of bedbug treatment; such costs will be covered by the PHA.
X. Tenant Reimbursement
The PHA will not reimburse the tenant for the cost of any infestation or treatment related expenses such as purchase of new furniture, clothing or cleaning services.
Bedbugs may be introduced into a rental unit by means other than actions by the residents occupying the unit. Bedbugs may travel on the clothing of visitors, contractors and staff and may travel through the walls from adjacent unit. Consequently, the presence of bedbugs, even repeated occurrences, in a rental unit shall not be the sole cause for termination of assistance.
Residents that do not cooperate with the Agency efforts to eliminate any occurrence of bedbugs in their unit may be subject to eviction and termination of assistance.