A local family of five came to Coastside Hope for help with a rental housing problem. They are good tenants who always pay their rent on time. For two months, the landlord of their two-bedroom apartment had been working on mold in the bedrooms. The family could not enter the bedrooms and could not use the central heat, despite cold winter weather. As a result, the family was living entirely in an unheated living room. A Coastside Hope safety net case manager contacted housing advocate Project Sentinel to collaborate on a solution.
Project Sentinel assisted in drafting a tenant rights document, including defining “a habitable living environment” in the correct context. Coastside Hope in turn helped the family submit formal requests to relocate the family to a hotel, quickly complete the mold repairs, and issue a rent credit for the time spent living in sub-standard conditions.
Property management responded reasonably and appropriately to the requests. They placed the family in a hotel while they completed the mold remediation and issued a one-month refund of rent.
Thanks to a collaborative advocacy effort, this client family quickly returned to safe housing conditions while maintaining a positive relationship with their property managers.