Site Owners Cracking Down on Hoarders

April 27, 2010
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Warning letters, “clean-up” programs, weekly inspections. Those are only some of the steps that LIHTC program site owners are taking to cope with the growing problem of residents who hoard, according to the results of a recent Insider poll. Approximately 80 percent of the respondents to our poll said they’ve noticed that hoarding has become more prevalent at their sites.

What is hoarding and how can it harm a site? The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation defines hoarding as: “The acquisition of and failure to discard items that appear to be useful or of little value. It is manifested in excessive possessions in the home interfering with the normal use of living space and furniture.” As the Insider reported in the February 2010 issue, people who engage in hoarding put themselves and their neighbors at risk. (See “Take Steps Early to Deal with Hoarding.”)

Respondents to the Insider poll said unanimously that they’ve been able to uncover incidents of hoarding during their unit inspections. But the approaches they take to deal with the problem vary. One site owner sends a warning letter, followed by another unit inspection a month later. Another site owner has put residents who hoard on a room-by-room “clean-up” program; while another has asked the family to meet with a social worker and conducts weekly inspections. Another respondent reported that any strategy he has tried has failed because the resident has been too stubborn to accept any help at all.

To see the complete poll results and verbatim comments, go to the Poll Question in the left column. And while you are there, please take a minute or two to answer our next poll question on loitering.