After fleeing an abusive marriage, Hong settled her four children into an apartment while she worked full time as a manicurist. She was able to support her family with the help of a Section 8 housing subsidy.
Things changed when new upstairs tenants caused serious property damage. Water and even refuse leaked into Hong’s apartment from above. One room was irreparably flooded and family possessions were ruined.
When the landlord was contacted his assistant accused Hong and her children of living on taxpayer’s money and being lazy. Meantime heating costs soared as the ceilings and windows cracked. Hong withheld rent. She soon received an eviction notice.
Hong contacted her local legal aid office. She was advised to call the local Board of Health, who found 30 code violations. Knowing an eviction would cost Hong her Section 8 subsidy; her legal aid attorney documented the conditions and went with Hong to court. Her landlord agreed to a settlement and Hong has now moved her children to a clean apartment.