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Couple Fights Housing Authority Eviction (MA)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Couple Fights Housing Authority Eviction

"AMESBURY — Powow Villa resident Fran Turcotte received a 30-day eviction notice late last month and would like to get a chance to defend herself before legal action is carried out.

Turcotte, 71, and her partner Fred Bowman, 64, have lived at Powow Villa for the past two years and were happy with the living arrangement, until a new neighbor moved in next door last summer, who smokes, they allege.

“(Our neighbor) is not home right now but if she was, you would be smelling the smoke,” Turcotte said. “It comes in the vent in the bathroom, it comes in the living room through the little hole in the heater.”

A throat cancer survivor, Bowman received chemotherapy last summer and is under doctor’s orders to stay away from cigarette smoke. When the Housing Authority imposed a smoking ban on Sept. 1 last year, Bowman reminded his next-door neighbor of the prohibition when she lit up on her front lawn soon after, he said.

That conversation did not go well and things began to escalate from there with rude gestures exchanged, Turcotte said.

Turcotte and Bowman were asked to attend a meeting with the Housing Authority in October where they requested a transfer to either another unit or another building. They said they were told that would not be possible and were advised not to have contact with their neighbor.

“They told us, ‘don’t talk to her, don’t say anything to her, pretend she doesn’t even exist, if she starts something, call the police,’” Turcotte said. “But we have never been the type of people who want to call the police for something that is a no-nonsense dispute. If she were over here, banging on my door with a knife or something then yes, I would call them.”

Turcotte’s neighbor has had no qualms about calling the police and did so three times from September through March..."

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