CorissaImagine living in a house infested with bedbugs. Your bathtub is rusted and unusable. There are loose wires poking out of holes in the wall. Each day, while you and your children bathe in a large plastic tub to avoid the rust, you find new bites. Each day, you pray that it will get fixed. It never does. For some, this may seem like a bad dream. For Corissa, this was her reality.

Before contacting the Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC), Corissa had experienced several issues like this with her landlord. With her old lease expiring and her Section 8 subsidized housing voucher about to as well, Corissa had to find housing in a hurry. The property that she located was approved by the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), with a list of issues to be fixed sent to the landlord. In March 2012, Corissa and her family moved in.

Within a few days of moving in, Corissa began to notice several small bugs around the house and bites on herself and her children. She contacted the landlord and the exterminator about the issue. The exterminator began the first of three treatments but after the landlord ignored bills, the exterminator ceased treatment. Corissa and her family continued to live with the infestation. The bugs had begun to eat at her daughter’s scalp. The baby’s face was covered in marks, like a bad rash that would not go away. To add to her problems, the landlord neglected to fix the other issues with the property like the rusty bathtub and exposed wires in several rooms.

With the help of LASC attorney Tamara Parker, who filed a lawsuit on Corissa’s behalf, Corissa and her family were able to escape the negligence of her landlord. By November of that year, Corissa had moved into a livable property for her and her family. Soon after, the lawsuit against her landlord was won and Corissa’s way of living was restored.

Corissa shared that this experience has helped her to be more conscious of people and to keep records of transactions. She added that Tamara and everyone at LASC were professional and nice. “There are people who are willing to use their talents to help you.”

After the lawsuit, Corissa reported that her children are happier and healthier. She no longer has to watch them suffer. Things like shoes, beds and clothes can be replaced. Her family’s happiness could not.

Translate »