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Peabody, MA
November 24th, 2020|

My husband became disabled last year in November. Due to a five month waiting period, we got behind on our rent. We were served notice to quit and got a low income fee attorney. At court we did mediation with landlord’s attorneys. We were approved for a housing voucher, and part of the mediation agreement was our landlord would accept voucher, but my landlord would not accept the voucher because it would not cover the full rent amount. So mediation in court fell through. My husband then got very sick with COVID-19 pneumonia and almost passed away.

He came home after 2 months in the hospital. I requested a reasonable accommodation – based on my husband’s illness and disabilities – that our landlord accept vouchers with rent. This way our housing situation would be settled and my husband could recover safely. Our landlord denied the accommodation and offered their own accommodation: that we move into another unit within 30 days from date of denial. My husband came home using a rolling walker, but he was expected to pack up an entire household in his condition? I still shake my head in disbelief.

I hear we are all in this together, and we need to make sure people are kept safe. Well not according to my landlord. We are paying what we can every month to pay our rent. I was hoping our landlord would come around and work with my husband and me. I submitted doctors’ letters stating that my husband cannot do the physical act of packing and moving a household. He has been doing weekly therapies to help in his recovery. His recovery could take up to a year for him to get as well as he can. He will always have issues from virus. He is weak and walks with a cane all the time and cannot walk very fair.

We are trying to find a new place to live, but no one will rent to us due to us having rent arrears and a pending eviction. I am not sure what will happen to my family. We have a young son also. I thought we were living in unprecedented times. Obviously certain landlords are not living in same pandemic as the rest of the world is. From what I have experienced, it seems money is more important than a person’s well being and safety. I thought your home was the one place you should feel safe?