*Man! Its bad enough some folks live in residences where they can’t feel safe due to circumstances beyond their control outside. What with all the gangs, robberies, etc. There is a great deal of legitimate fear when ever a child is sent out to play or whenever they it comes to running errands after night falls. But add to that living in an apartment or house where pests exist in overwhelming numbers. Keeping it one-hundred, ANY home can host a spider or two. You might see a sparse bug here or there; or even some other ungodly little pest the dog trails in, but that’s not what this article is about. Its about living in this filth and being afraid to complain about the mice and roaches because your slumlord may threaten you with eviction or even worse, deportation.
Now we know such retaliation is illegal (and so is the condition), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I have personally witnessed the ire of one landlord, who raised a friends rent $300 after she complained to the city about this same issue.
And if you live in an area where there is no rent control, which in and of itself is a dying code, it can be a very complicated situation due to the excessive greed in the real estate market.
According to the Miami Herald, one Fresno, California family faces this problem. Their house is crawling with pests and family patriarch, Luis Decubas, even keeps a tightly rolled package of…wait for it…17 mice in his freezer, as proof of how contaminated thethree-bedroom apartment he shares with his wife and four children in southeast Fresno is.
Yuck! I know.
And listen to this. The pub reports the family even feels cockroaches “tickling the inside of their ears” when they wake up in the middle of the night.
And the apartment’s mishaps doesn’t stop there. According to 47-year-old Decubas, the $650-per-month residence also has exposed wires, faulty electric outlets and holes in the walls.
For decades, city officials have been aware of the problems low-income residents face with housing. Property owners were not held accountable for their buildings due to the overwhelming effects from the Great Recession that made it easier to slack off on code enforcement. But, as the Miami Herald report states, by refusing to put teeth into inspections and enforcement efforts, the city failed to protect many of its most at-risk citizens.
According to the publication…
Fresno’s low-income housing crisis was thrust into the spotlight last November with the news that a central Fresno apartment complex, home to 1,000 people, had neither heat nor hot water. Residents couldn’t cook or keep their apartments warm at the coldest part of autumn. By the time officials learned about the gas line closure, tenants at Summerset Village Apartments had been cold and hungry for a week. One elderly tenant would later die of respiratory failure brought on by pneumonia.