ShareThis Page
Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Baldwin's group-home plan is discriminatory

| Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, 9:03 p.m.

I am writing to express serious concern about the proposal being considered by the Baldwin borough council to add unnecessary, burdensome, discriminatory and illegal layers of government regulation onto community (group) homes for people with intellectual disabilities and others.

The article “Baldwin looks to set rules for group homes” (July 12, TribLIVE) states the would-be ordinance requirements would include code inspections, registration with the borough, and proof of licenses and background checks for all employees. Additional new requirements would include permits, registering occupants of the home and direct support professionals who work in the home, and proof of sufficient sewer and water facilities.

First, it’s important to know that the agencies providing services are licensed annually through the state Department of Human Services, and licensed community homes are already subject to rigorous regulations from the state, including background checks and safety inspections. More importantly, these requirements will violate the federal Fair Housing Act.

Borough officials claim the ordinance “is designed to prevent any recurrence of the problem” that occurred on Dec. 17, 2017, when one community home employee fatally shot his co-worker. The ordinance under consideration could not have prevented the tragedy.

People with disabilities living in their homes deserve to be treated as our neighbors, not targeted with unwarranted government overreach. If Baldwin wants to target violence and criminal activity, then please do so — but leave our fellow citizens with intellectual disabilities out of it.

Nancy Murray

South Side

The writer is president of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh/ACHIEVA ( www.achieva.info ).

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me