To: Helena Housing Authority Tenants
From: Michael M. O’Neil, Executive Director
Date: January 5, 2021
Re: Notice to Helena Housing Authority Tenants, HHA Meth Remediation Policy Repeal
The Helena Housing Authority is providing this notice to its public housing tenants that it has repealed the HHA Meth Remediation Policy. The appeal effective date will be February 10, 2021.
HHA’s staff and Board of Commissioners remain committed to providing safe and affordable housing and related services to eligible, low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled. However, we have determined that the circumstances leading to HHA’s initial voluntary adoption of this Policy in 2015 have changed. Present circumstances of meth production and use within our greater-Helena community no longer warrant automatic screen testing of our units at turnover or transfer. HHA has detected no positive unit test for methamphetamine surface residue contamination at the 1.5 µg / 100 cm2 testing level in over one year in its public housing units. Current patterns of meth production and use have changed and are less discoverable by reliance upon meth residue unit testing. Very few public housing authorities or other rental housing providers in the Unites States have voluntarily adopted or continue to implement similar meth testing policies. Ultimately, we have determined that the Policy is no longer effective in deterring or detecting methamphetamine use in our properties. HHA reserves the right to investigate allegations and/or suspicions of drug-related criminal activity, including but not limited to unit inspection and testing in order to promote safe, healthy and drug-free public housing premises.
You are invited to provide written comment in response to this notice, either by e-mail communication or by mail to:
Michael M. O’Neil
Helena Housing Authority
812 Abbey Street
Helena, MT 59601