Rodents and Insects Invading Our Home

Flora came down to SAJE to share the slum housing conditions that she is living through at her apartment on 36th St. Currently, she has a rat infestation that is bringing along fleas causing rashes in her and her childrens skin.

As we interviewed Flora, she kept mentioning that her house doesn’t work anymore! Why? Because she finds all kinds of insects that are invading her home like the termites that are eating through her apartment walls. What worries her most at the moment though, is the health of her kids. She is tired of hearing her youngest daughter cry at night due to her itching rashes and is ready to take action to attain a healthy home where her family can live happy.

A Home that Causes Asthma

Mirna has been featured in an article by La Opinion that can be found here: Vivienda que enferma. She is another resident of 39th Street and a neighbor of Emilia who was also featured in our blog: Flooded with Cockroaches.

We caught up with Mirna as she showed us that the asthma triggers in her home are no lie! Cockroaches, mold, and the old carpets in her apartment are all proof of slum housing conditions in her home.

Park Grove or Slum Grove III

SAJE leader Joey is back to report on the new issues at Park Grove. On his last time here, he reported on the problem he had with his electricity. You can watch that video here: Park Grove or Slum Grove II His electrical problem actually never got fixed and stopped all by itself, but now there are new problems. His landlord continues to try and impose absurd fees on tenants, but fails because Joey knows his rights and informs his neighbors!

This time, Joey is also helping his neighbors by writing repair notices for all. Each tenant has submitted a notice of repair to the landlord, just as he had asked and they all have proof of their reports. Currently, only 3 of them have received responses, but their united actions have just begun. Their next step as a group is to go directly to the LA Housing Department to ask for another inspector to come and check their inadequately “fixed” apartments.

World Asthma Day 2013

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, the Asthma Coalition of Los Angeles County (SAJE, St. John’s, Esperanza Community Housing Corp., and the Breath Mobile) hosted a press conference to highlight the connection between housing conditions and asthma t 1209 W. 39th Pl. This asthma awareness event at 1209 W. 39th Pl. also featured asthma health screenings, provided informations about asthma policy as well as other educational materials to tenants.

One of the tenants, Gabriel Martinez, spoke to the press about the slum-housing conditions he has been facing in the complex during the last two years. His wife, Maria Martinez, had told SAJE organizers before that whenever showers pour hard, their bedroom walls become damp. Their apartment also used to have a carpet in the living room that would be drenched with rainwater for weeks. Doctors from St. John’s informed them that the carpet, along with the mold, caused their four-year-old daughter’s asthma.

After they discovered that their old carpet was the culprit for the asthma, Gabriel and his family started demanding their rights as tenants. They got involved with SAJE and started to learn more about their rights and continue to strive for better living conditions.

When the media toured the family’s apartment, what they saw was a recently painted ceiling. What they could not see was the mold laying underneath and the moisture in the air. Perfect conditions for the mold to grow right back.The media saw a plastered ceiling in the kitchen that gets “repaired” every three months, and they saw wood flooring in the living room that recently replaced the torn and moldy carpet. “Mickey Mouse repairs” like this are made often by landlords to pass SCEP (Systematic Code Enforcement Program) Inspections, but the root cause of the issues go unaddressed causing buildings to remain in unhealthy living conditions.

Struggle with Bed Bugs

Daaihma H. not only has mold in her house, she also has bed bugs. These bed bugs don’t only affect her, but her small children as well. Both of her kids are small and are defenseless in fighting off these bugs. Her 2 month old baby is full of rashes. Her 5-year-old daughter can’t sleep at night. She has already given her landlord notices, but he refuses to fix the problem. Now, she has gone to her children’s physician to obtain a letter proving that the afflicting rashes are caused by the bed bugs in the apartment.

SAJE Leader Jesus Lopez

On March 12, 2013, I interviewed Jesus Lopez about what happened with the repairmen in his home after New Year’s Day. Jesus already had problems with them due to a previous occasion where they only painted over the mold in his kitchen instead of doing a full restoration. This time they were about to do the same in the bathroom, but he stops them. He knows his rights as a tenant and stopped them because he knew that they were not making full repairs.

Jesus has been featured in one of our Spotlight’s before. To get a little more background on his story you can click on the link to read it: Jesus Lopez vs. US Bank