1139 E. Adams

At just nine-month-old Angel Clemente has spent the majority of his life without electricity.
His mother, Heiyde Clemente, knew life was going to be difficult when she came to the United States, but she never imagined that in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, her family would suffer from such deplorable conditions.
Heyide assumed that if her and her husband abided by their rental contract and paid the required $950 a month, they could live comfortably in their small, one-bedroom apartment in South Los Angeles.
She was wrong.
For six years, the property owner refused to fix the broken windows, holes in the wall, electrical wiring, and defective plumbing. The horrendous conditions caused Heiyde and her six children to develop chronic respiratory illnesses, rashes, and skin infections.
But the living conditions reached an all-time low in the summer of 2011 when Fannie Mae began foreclosing on the property.
The tenants discovered that the former owner not only failed to pay the home’s mortgage, but she also owed $18,000 to the Department of Water and Power (DWP). Because of the outstanding debt, DWP cut off all electricity to the home and refused to restore service until the bill was paid in its entirety.
Since officially seizing the property in September of 2011, Fannie Mae has failed to inspect the building, make any necessary repairs, or take responsibility for the electrical bill.
“My children are suffering because they can’t do their homework…. they can’t even use the computer,” Heyide said as tears ran down her checks. “They have to try and read and write by candle light”.
Frustrated by the Bank’s continual neglect of the property and the City’s failure to take any responsibility, the Clementes and the two other families living in adjacent units, decided to publically shame Fannie Mae.
Within a week of the various news reports and public interviews, a representative from the Bank arrived on March 6th to turn the electricity back on.
Now, for the first time in six months, Angel can see his parents’ faces at night before he goes to bed and Heiyde no longer has to ignite a noisy backup generator just so that her children can finish typing their homework assignments.
But while the tenants are thankful to finally have electricity, they are still waiting to find out whether Fannie Mae will offer them relocation assistance or come to repair the property.

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