Dear University Hills Community,

Since at least 2015, University Hills residents have expressed concerns about mail theft in the community. More recently, the Homeowners Representative Board (HRB) and various community members have notified ICHA that there is an energetic and wide-ranging conversation happening about installing individual lockable mailboxes at private homes in University Hills. In keeping with a commitment to building community in University Hills, ICHA is providing in this email the best information we have on this topic.
ICHA is also aware that some residents are deeply worried about not only the security of their inbound and outbound mail, but about the potential for identity theft. See the “Resources” section at the end of this e-mail for information and action steps you can take to better protect yourself and your household.
ICHA does not monitor the listserv. Conversations and issues of concern on this private social media platform may or may not get to us. The best way to obtain information from ICHA is to:
  • Call (949) 824-2424 (ICHA Community Management)
  • E-mail (kim.encinas@icha.uci.edu)
  • Visit us in the office
  • Contact your HRB representatives (hrb@uhills.org) who will communicate your concerns to ICHA

History

In 2015, the HRB circulated a survey to the community to collect information and opinions about mail theft concerns and mailbox preferences. The Survey is available here.

What We Know

  • ICHA does not create or enforce U.S. Postal Service (USPS) regulations or guidelines governing mail security, mailbox configuration or location, or mail carrier responsibilities.
  • In early 2018, the Irvine Post Office stated that mail will not be delivered to individual lockable mailboxes. The statement from the Irvine Post Office that was posted to the listserv in February 2018: “The Irvine Post Office will not allow individual lockable boxes. They will not deliver to individual lockable boxes.”
  • ICHA and all new developments in the City of Irvine have been required to install locked cluster mailboxes since at least 2013. Examples of these boxes are at the corner of Roland and Coltrane and Ochoa and Coltrane.
  • Ground lease guidelines currently note that changing any box by a homeowner requires an HRB architectural review and approval to maintain aesthetic continuity. A replacement with anything other than a box identical to the existing box may or may not be approved by the HRB, potentially resulting in its removal.
  • The Irvine Post Office has committed to sending a letter to all University Hills residents with individual mailboxes clarifying its jurisdiction over the use of individual lockable mailboxes.

Resources

Mail theft and mail security: U.S. Postal Inspection Service , a law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service.
Reporting and Recovering from Identity Theft: https://www.identitytheft.gov/
Victor Van Zandt,
CEO & President Irvine Campus Housing Authority

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