It was victory, not eviction, for a 90-year-old World War II veteran in a Hartford Housing Court today. The Newington Housing Authority was on the verge of booting Andy Nowicki and his wife, Leona, who suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s, from their apartment because he didn’t adhere to their smoking policy. But, three hours of mediation led to a compromise this afternoon.
At issue was the fact the Nowicki, who has a hard time walking, would smoke outside of his apartment, but inside a breezeway. The housing authority’s rules state anyone smoking must do so a minimum of ten feet from any first floor windows
State Senator Paul Doyle, also an attorney, is representing the Nowicki’s at no charge because, he notes, “He’s an American hero. That’s why it’s so easy for me to help this great man.”
It took over three hours of mediation, inside a Hartford housing court today, but finally, a compromise was reached.
“Because of my client’s disabilities, they’re gonna make significant changes or improvements to the premises to make it handicap accessible,” said Senator Doyle.
The housing authority must make the changes within 30 days
Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner, Linda Schwartz, even got the housing authority to agree to let volunteer state military veterans construct a canopy extending out from the Nowicki’s apartment building, protecting him against the elements.
As part of the agreement, the Nowicki’s will be first on the list for a 100 percent handicap accessible unit when it becomes available.