The Call for Opposition: Challenging the P2P and IOM Processes
In our second article on how to react to the publication of the draft P2P report, Gabby Klein provides her view of why she and a large group of advocates and patients are continuing their protest of the government’s ongoing control and manipulation of our disease via their processes...
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Housing Rights (??) for the disabled in WA state

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by zoe.a.m., Sep 16, 2012.

  1. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    It's been a while since I've done anything other than read here, but boy am I wondering about how other people have navigated housing issues with both CFIDS and MCS...

    After a year spent with miserable landlords making my MCS-friendly rental a not-so-great retreat, I was given notice that it's being sold and I must be out by the end of September. I got more than the required 20-day notice here in WA (and those of us in WA know how appalling the tenant-renter's "rights" are--except in King County where they actually lawfully enforce some of these "laws") by about another 15 days. I've been searching for a place that approaches healthful for me (no new carpet, no propane, no pesticides, no new paint, and the list goes on...) and I've come up dry. On average, we only get about 20 new rentals per week, and that runs from the popular "shed" housing to 5-bedroom houses.

    Pretty quickly after I got the letter/notice, I called Solid Ground and the Tenant's Assn. (which I'd already been in touch with on numerous occasions due to unlawful entries and the rest of it). At long last, a person at Solid Ground seemed to know a lot about how being disabled figured into the equation and told me that I could request a "reasonable accommodation" for more time with a doctor's letter, and that if I wasn't offered an accommodation, the WA Human Right's Commission would get involved.

    Well, 3.5 wks later, I find myself having just been told by the WAHRC and Fair Housing that I have no right to an accommodation than what I am already getting since I was told more than 20 days ahead of time (even after the doctor's letters, working with a lawyer from CLEAR, and talking to the Fair Housing Center. To add insult to injury, the property wasn't sold, but since WA is a "no-cause leave" state, it doesn't matter that the reason is bogus. (I know this after speaking to the other tenant on the same property who had no clue he needed to move and has been in regular contact with the landlord, and checking sales through the auditor's office.)

    I've been working my ass off to find a place and pack and try to survive (we all know this dance) but all the while working under the assumption that the law would recognize that I can only do so much. Just yesterday I received the final word that I could get no extra time, and my landlord's response of charging me $75 per day starting on Oct. 1st, is considered a reasonable accommodation. The last person I spoke to said that well, yes, it was all a little suspect and I could certainly ask that it be investigated, but I had better be out in the next week and a half (and hope for a favorable finding after the fact) and that was that.

    This past week I actually collapsed outside of my car and spoke to my doctor who put me on Florinef immediately, but it doesn't change anything really, except a host of side-effects added to the mix. Disabled housing here can't accommodate even my most basic needs so I've been willing to pay all I have to live somewhere that doesn't make everything impossible but, again, small town, no landlord-tenant laws, and not enough time to stumble upon one of the decent rentals (it took me about 4 months last year before I found my current place).

    Sorry for the long rant, but I would really appreciate hearing from anyone, and especially anyone who's experienced any housing issues in WA. I'm half angry and half stunned that when doctor's outline a timeline for the "advocates" to follow, it simply doesn't matter...
     
  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Sth Australia
    Maybe you can put your stuff into storage for the time being and see if you can go and board a room from another who has ME/CFS (someone may be happy with the company of a fragrant free border for a short time), so you can have a suitable time period to find a suitable place..

    best luck

    ps.. if you end up really desperate.. there is a site called www.couchsurfing.org .. its people who volunteer in taking in travellers or for travellers looking for somewhere to stay in anothers home for a short time. Thou you dont fit the "traveller" thing what that site is actually for, maybe if you explained your situation to some a nice person there who live in your own area (it allows one to search for people in ones area), they may be willing to take you in for a short time, while you are looking for a place. (it's very popular site and there is likely to be people who do take others in in your area).
     
    CJB likes this.
  3. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    Thanks Tania,
    I do think I will be taking the storage/temporary place fix if I can find the temporary place, which is proving to be really tough. Normally, it's a decent time of year to find summer rentals that aren't in use (the big Wooden Boat Festival finished last weekend and it's usually dying down after that), but nothing is showing up in the paper or craigslist for the past several weeks since I've been looking. Most of all, thanks for the support!
     
  4. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    WA, USA
    very sorry to hear you are having troubles, zoe. I live with family so I haven't had to face this. I wish you success!
     
  5. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Sth Australia
    Consider putting your own wanted ad into paper over wanting a place with what your needs also are. You could get lucky.
     
  6. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    PMed you.
     
  7. K2 for Hope

    K2 for Hope ALways Hoping

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    Jacksonville, FL 32258
    I just want to say I wish you all the luck? in the world. I hear this over and over and I swear, there has to be a way to get affordable housing for disabled people... there has to be... :aghhh:

    I am sorry I have no answers for you as I live in Florida. (I do have a room for rent!!!) But, that would be an incredible commute... Oh, once again, I wish for the lottery to set up housing communities....:rolleyes:
     
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Amersfoort, Netherlands
    I don't think there are any options to legally stay in your rental at the normal rate. And even in King County and Seattle all those wonderful protections can be subverted by a landlord simply raising the rent until the renter is forced out (with sufficient notice of course).

    In the future you can request that 60 days notice be given by either party, instead of the default 20. Get it in the rental contract and signed by both parties, and it's binding.

    As far as finding a new place, can you broaden the area you're looking it, or do you need to stay where you are? You also might be able to find a room to rent or something, at least until you can find something you really like.
     
  9. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    Thanks for the well wishes and suggestions. The drama continues unfortunately with another letter today from the "landlords" (really, I'm not sure these are living/breathing humans) stating that each additional day is $75 and that they plan to start construction on Oct. 1st. I was told slightly later that this is referred to as a "constructive eviction" where they simply make it impossible to be inside the structure. The Fair Housing Ctr. is trying to work something out for an extra two weeks at my normal rental rate, but apparently they would still be allowed to do a certain amount of construction. My real question is: where on earth is 30 days (or 20) a feasible amount of time, for someone who is often bedridden, to move? You hear a lot about the rights of the disabled, but I've yet to see any one of them actually pan out in normal life.

    Yes, indeed. Such a thing never occurred to me as I've never been asked to leave or forced to leave. I wouldn't even consider signing a lease now without having such a clause written in--that is something that ought to be in the literature, or better yet, an actual legal "right" for disabled persons.

    I think I need to stay where I am, at least for about a year, though the number of rentals that come up here in a month's time is stunningly low. I can't imagine putting the team together that I have now elsewhere: partially because I've tried to do it before, and partially because I don't know if it's possible. It's a bit like a long relationship where you've got one thing that keeps you glued there but everything else is fractured.

    I'm so tired of anyone who knows me saying "there's so much in the paper" when I can literally recite the details of every ad by heart. It just triggers my family-of-origin disbelief in everything and makes me worried that between the questions and the sleep deprivation (and now a crash), I will just lash out at someone.
     
  10. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    It just occurred to me - there's a newsletter called Our Toxic Times, and if I were you that's where I'd place a wanted ad. Everyone receiving it is chemically sensitive to some extent so it's a good one for making connections. Desperate pleas for a particular kind of help, including housing, show up there rather frequently in fact I think there were two in this last issue. There are also people looking for roomates, and offering houses or chemical-free trailers for rent.

    Joining also gives you access to a list of members in your state. During a critical time for me I once sent out a mass email to them, and while no one was able to help I received many suggestions and empathy. I also found myself in the posiiton to help someone without bedding options by sending over some cushions that didn't work for me, and we've kept in touch since then.

    It's a great resource and community to get plugged in to.
     

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