The HomeBASE regulations say that you must appeal a termination by giving a written appeal to the HomeBASE administering agency within seven (7) days. This may be illegal (see Advocacy Tips below) but it is important to try to get the appeal within the 7 days. 760 CMR 65.07(1)(a).
The administering agency will then schedule an appeal in front of an employee of the agency who was not involved in the termination decision.
If you lose the hearing in front of the administering agency, you can ask DHCD to review the decision but, under the HomeBASE regulations, you must ask for this review in writing within only 7 days. You must then make your arguments to DHCD, in writing, within the time frame that DHCD gives you. 760 CMR 65.07(6).
- Before the hearing at the administering agency, you should consult an advocate and try to get legal representation. You should also ask to see the administering agency’s files to see what evidence they have about the termination and whether the termination decision is consistent with the HomeBASE regulations.
- The HomeBASE appeals process described above is likely illegal. The HomeBASE line item in the state budget says that HomeBASE appeals are supposed to be done through the same process that applies to EA appeals, pursuant to G.L. c. 23B, section 30(F), under which you are given 21 days to appeal and to be heard by a DHCD independent hearings officer. If you are being barred from EA shelter because of a HomeBASE termination, you and your advocate can argue that the termination was not lawful because you were denied the proper appeals process, although this argument will likely need to be made to a court.
- By allowing an appeal to DHCD only in writing, the HomeBASE regulations may unlawfully discriminate against persons with disabilities and persons with Limited English Proficiency who may have difficulty making arguments in writing.