April 19, 2021
When COVID-19 began spreading early last year, we knew that the families we serve would be among those hit hardest. Unfortunately, we were right, and in a time when we should be pulling together, landlords across the Capital Region continue to illegally evict and force out tenants by refusing to maintain their units.
The Davis’ have witnessed this callousness firsthand when their landlord refused to fix their furnace after it stopped working altogether early this winter. With temperatures below freezing, the family was forced to purchase space heaters with their already limited budget. However, they could only afford to purchase two, and Mom and Dad sacrificed their own comfort sleeping in a freezing cold room so that their children could stay warm. But, heating was only the first of the Davis’ problems; plumbing soon became a nightmare when sewage began backing up and flooding the bathtub and sinks. With no hope in sight, the Davis’ were forced to live in filth and without heat or to shell out upwards of $400 a week to stay in a hotel all while continuing to pay rent.
When our Housing Stability Advocate, Jason, heard the Davis’ story he sprung into action. He was able to contact Code Enforcement (CE) who issued several violations and fines to the Landlord, but because CE didn’t shut down the apartments the Department of Social Services refused to shelter the family; luckily, the Davis’ qualify for Rapid Rehousing. With vacancies so low due to the public health crisis this is a challenging task, but Jason is committed to helping the Davis’ access the housing they deserve. While he continues working to find the family an apartment, Jason checks in with the family weekly to continue providing support and ensure their unique needs continue to be met.
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