Read this in Spanish.
D came to SeaSol because his apartment was making his son sick.
For years, D has lived in a low-income housing unit with mold problems, but he couldn’t afford to move to a market-rate unit. At certain times of year one wall would turn black and give off a nasty smell no matter what he did. D and his family started leaving the windows open day and night, even in the winter, to try to keep humidity from building up in the unit. But it didn’t work. D’s newborn son began developing respiratory symptoms from the mold.
D contacted property management multiple times. They would first suggest the mold was D’s fault, then eventually send maintenance to clean it without making any repairs. A few months later mold would return, and the symptoms would start again. D asked to be transferred to an equivalent apartment without a health hazard, showing them photos and doctors’ notes, but they refused to even look at the documentation. It was easier to ignore D and do nothing, so that’s what they did.
With a new baby on the way, D knew his family’s health was still at risk and something needed to change. That’s when he found SeaSol and asked us for help. Together with D we wrote a letter from SeaSol to the property management company, and sent it to multiple key people in the organization. We also called them many times to keep the issue fresh in their minds. We started making plans to escalate further if necessary.
At first it was the same old story – the property manager thought it wasn’t their problem. Was D sure he didn’t do something wrong? Maybe it could be D’s problem instead. But after more than four years of persistence by D and two months of help from SeaSol, we got the happy news: D and his family of 5 were being transferred to a new, healthy apartment! They have now moved in and left the (m)old problems behind.
If you’re suffering from a landlord bureaucracy that’s designed to make you give up and go away, you’ll need allies to keep up the pressure. That’s what orgs like SeaSol are for.