Rosemarie*, a widow in her late sixties, is a model tenant. She pays her rent on time, keeps her small unit tidy, and takes pride and comfort in her modest living situation which she is able to afford on the limited, monthly Social Security Survivor’s Benefits she receives. Last summer, Rosemarie’s nephew fell on hard times, losing both his job and apartment. He stayed with relatives for a few days at a time, including Rosemarie.
Several months later, in the dead of winter and as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, the local housing authority filed to evict Rosemarie for violation of lease terms for giving shelter to her nephew. The housing authority argued that Rosemarie’s nephew was technically homeless and that she had violated her lease by providing shelter for someone homeless and not a guest.
Rosemarie was desperate, time was running out, and the prospect of finding a new place to live that was both affordable and available during the pandemic was dismal. She turned to NLS for help. Her civil legal aid attorney vigorously represented her first at the informal grievance hearing, then at the formal grievance hearing where Rosemarie prevailed. She was able to remain in her home and even helped her nephew find
a permanent place to live.
*Names have been changed to protect client’s safety and privacy.