A Sort of Post-Covid Comeback
It has been a while since I’ve blogged and actively fundraised. COVID interrupted Hazel’s specialist care, so we were in a holding pattern, with enough help for her non-covered expenses from a few devoted friends. Plus that extra push when her service dog turned out to need meds and annual testing. Now, I’m back with hat in hand, for a new and actually kinda exciting reason.
First the Bad News
Remember in September of 2019 we moved to escape mold? It’s back. That is, our new home turns out to have mold problems, too. In January of 2020, mold bloomed on the living room ceiling. Although I showed the landlord information from the state department of health, explaining that moldy materials must be removed, he insisted on just painting it over… and communication only went downhill with him from there. Turns out some landlords, as soon as you say the word, “mold,” start thinking you’re trying to bring a trumped-up lawsuit and fleece them. Of course, all we wanted was a healthy home.
We hoped the mold problem here was so small that the paint-over might at least help, and for a little while our health improved, but then we got worse again, and then, mold bloomed on the ceiling of Hazel’s bedroom, of all places the worst possible.
We had been following the best moisture-deterrant protocols, including running a dehumidifier*, an air purifier**, and the central heat with the best HEPA filter we could get, but still, here we were with yet more mold, so I called a moisture consultant and he had a look. Turns out there should be baffles around the vents under the eaves, to keep insulation from stopping up those vents, and in the absence of said baffles and/or sufficient insulation in the eaves, you get a lot of condensation, especially with a patch job on the roof instead of the full repairs a roofer recommended.
This landlord is penny wise and pound foolish. He won’t do a proper repair, and as a result, his house is moldering away, and our health is suffering. So once again it’s time to move.
Meanwhile, family members made a point of informing me that they could not be counted on to help Hazel in the event of anything happening to me. Someday, something will happen to me. That’s life. Would Hazel have to move yet again? How could she find someplace sustainable and mold-free, when she has trouble even speaking on the phone?
But Now the Good News!
As this is the second time we’ve found ourselves in this situation with the mold and the landlords and all, I was wishing I could be a homeowner again, responsible for my own repairs and able to choose to have them done right—and leave Hazel with her own home, perhaps also to provide housing to a live-in caregiver to help her out. Well, it turns out that’s a possibility!
We have extremely limited income, so we receive housing assistance through HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, and, as a disability accommodation, the local Public Housing Authority has agreed to grant us access to the HCV Homeownership Program!
This won’t happen overnight. I’m doing a deep dive into research and success will require pulling many pieces together and jumping through numerous bureaucratic hoops. A lot will depend on lenders and underwriters and bears, oh my! I’ve got to be brave but also patient, as we go down this yellow brick road. We could be in a our own home in a few months, or we might still be searching three years from now.
But the exciting news is, we have the green light. Or, to stick with Oz metaphors, Glinda has put the ruby slippers on my feet and the Munchkins have pointed out the path.
Wanna be a scarecrow, a tin man or a lion? If you can help us on our way, any contribution you can make, large or small, will help with the costs from research assistance, to a down payment, to closing costs, to the cost of actually moving—this time, at long last, to our own, permanent home.
I was a homeowner at the time we got sick, on May 5, 2007, but just as illness made me fall behind on payments, the 2008 mortgage crisis hit and the bank forced me into foreclosure. Then California Attorney General Kamala Harris did what she could for homeowners, but my home was already lost to me, and the payment of, I think it was $1000? was only a token of the state’s acknowledgment that I’d been swindled. It will be a nice piece of poetic justice, to have the government now help me obtain and maintain a home of our own.
Your Gift Brings Our Safety and Security
Better health for us both. Responsibility for our own home. Sustainability for Hazel into my failing years and beyond. All of this, at less cost to the taxpayer than the institutionalization which Hazel, with PTSD on top of M.E. on top of Autism and more, would never survive. This is the answer we’ve been looking for, and your help can get us there, so please either contribute directly to Hazel’s ABLE account, or, if you prefer, use PayPal and contribute via the link at our wonderful friend Heather’s blog: Pathways of Healing.
ABLE contribution information:
Use this link to make an “e-gift” contribution to Hazel’s CalAble account (which is great because it’s non-taxed.) https://www.ablegifting.com/CA/DmQy8d
What you will see there is a screen that looks like the picture below. Thank you, thank you so much–and your little dog Toto, too!
- * Love and thanks to family for the gift of the dehumidifier! ** Love and thanks to a kind friend for the gift of the air purifier!
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