Looking for a Safe Place to Live

Jose, whose housing woes were profiled by the El Paso Times

Jose had been living in his apartment for a few weeks when he noticed that the roof was leaking. Over time, the leaks got worse and pieces of the ceiling began to fall, causing damage to his furniture. Jose reported the leaks to the landlord but, after three years, nothing had been done.

Since he didn’t have the money to move anywhere else, Jose had to make due. He removed his own carpet and even put cans around the apartment to collect water, falling debris, and rats that had moved into the area. After hearing that one of his neighbors called the City Inspector about the property and was advised to file a lawsuit, Jose knew he needed legal help. So he turned to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA).

TRLA helped Jose file a complaint with the city where it was determined that the apartments were dangerous and would be torn down if the landlord didn’t bring them up to code. But Jose couldn’t wait, so TRLA also helped him apply for moving assistance to another apartment complex. Several weeks after contacting TRLA, Jose was living in a suitable apartment with healthy conditions.

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