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Grantee Blog 2020

Talking to Tenants

Our Healthy Housing Ambassador, Ariana, has been conducting bilingual outreach and housing education over the last several weeks. She is going door-to-door as well as joining the YMCA at major events such as National Night Out, Backback Drives and more. She has had many fruitful conversations with her fellow community members about housing in Perth Amboy. The following was written by Ariana:

 

“I have been reaching out to the residents in the Gateway area for about five weeks. I have spoken to mostly renters. They are Spanish speaking mostly and been living in there homes for some time.

 

I spoke to one man who rented and though the home had been updated there are still problems. The windows won’t close properly so he must leave close, creating a safety hazard. He has spoken to the owner and nothing has been done. There is no ventilation in kitchen so when they cook all the fumes stay in one place.

 

One tenant is having a problem getting her landlord to make repairs to her apartment or help her out with getting rental assistance like given her information so she can get assistance. She states the landlord just picks up rent and other than that doesn’t do much to apartment.

 

I spoke to a young mother who rents and stated that she has a problem with bugs. She has seen cockroaches frequently. They have exterminated and it has not helped.

 

There is definitely a pattern in what the tenants and I have spoken about. There are many absentee landlords who are not aware or seem not to care about the health and safety of their tenants. Every person I spoke to received information about fire safety, carbon monoxide, radon, lead and how to go about creating a safety plan for their home. They were also taught about their rights as renters, and who to call if they have issues. The tenants were also given my contact information if they needed additional assistance.”

 

We are hoping with the rollout of the new housing plan comes resolve to these issues. The housing plan should be done being translated within a week, so we are excited to launch both the English and Spanish Plan on the YMCA and City website.

About the Grantee

Raritan Bay Area YMCA

The YMCA is dedicated to building strong kids, strong families, and strong communities through programs that develop the values of caring, honesty, faith, respect, and responsibility.