Flag dispute at Easthampton Housing Authority property

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Easthampton Housing Authority tenants are upset at the Executive Director after some say Jane Sakiewicz told them they couldn’t hang the American flag or plant flowers.

“She came in here saying she was going to change, and she’s making everybody miserable,” said Rich Pietraszkiewicz, a three year tenant of Dickinson Court.

Dickinson Court is a property of the Easthampton Housing authority.

“This is what they said I was wrecking the building with. Four staples, and then they turned around and put screws in here,” said Pietraszkiewicz.

22News wanted answers from Housing Authority Executive Director Jane Sakiewicz.

“Their leases say that they cannot mount anything to the exterior of the building. Part of my job is to protect the integrity of the buildings,” said Sakiewicz.

After getting permission from the state, the flags fly, with brackets paid for by the housing authority.

“It’s as I say…there leases say they can’t have anything mounted and that wasn’t my decision that was a board decision,” said Sakiewicz.

22News went to the home of Nancy Flavin, the Board’s Director. She said, “We came out with the whole new tenant handbook and there’s lots of rules in there so there’s something offensive to everybody.”

Tenants were also asked not to plant things outside their apartments. The housing authority is instead, expanding a community garden at Dickinson Court.

Flavin says they asked Sakiewicz to enforce the rules when she was hired last Fall, because it wasn’t being done before. She showed us a letter sent from a tenant who complimented Sakiewicz.

Other tenants at the complex told us they have no problem with the housing authority, but declined to go on camera.

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