Dear Nadeen, the Fair Housing Lady,
I have CFIDS, which includes moderate MCS, and am currently awaiting a SSDI appeal. In the interim, I’m living on my savings and potentially my retirement. I applied for and received a low income housing unit. It was in a newly built apartment complex that repeatedly advertised itself (via newspaper articles on the development) as green. I called the architect, the apartment management company, and the developer and eventually spoke with the Project Manager who oversaw construction, who told me that everything the developer builds uses is green building material and that none of that material contains formaldehyde. He further referred me to their environmental coordinator who volunteered their California Build-it-green checklist, which she later said was the wrong checklist (although it did correspond with the building plans). I was leery of taking a new place, however, but I am much more sensitive to mold that I am to chemicals and thought whatever off-gassing from a gre en-built building would be tolerable, having lived through a green renovation at my ex-boyfriend’s home. I did enter the unit twice and thought it would be tolerable, but after I partially moved in and spent a single night, I had a very bad MCS reaction. I then went to the Building Department of the city where the complex is located to look at the building plans, and noted that only the carpet and paint were specified as low- to no-VOC, and that the drywall, OSB, plywood, etc., were just normal building materials and not green in any manner. I called my doctor that day and he said that I shouldn’t risk staying in the unit any longer, and wrote a letter to the management company explaining that it would be of significant detriment to my health to spend any time in the unit, let alone live in it. The management company has been very coy in regards to whether they will allow me to break my lease, and whether they will return the balance of my months rent and my security depos it. I’d like to know my legal rights, particularly since I have the sense that I’m going to have to fight for any that I do have. Thanks so much…your work is much appreciated by those of us who don’t have much voice in this world.
Category: Disability Accomodations