HRC Disability Case - Pico Rivera

In 2015, HRC provided critical services to over 20,000 residents. 

For the Rivera family, HRC's services may have helped save the life of their very ill child.

The Rivera's Los Angeles rent controlled apartment was in poor condition when the family moved in 28 years earlier and had not received any updates since that time.

When their 15 year old son Osvaldo was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia, he received several rounds of cancer fighting medications and ultimately was able to receive a bone marrow transplant - the combination of which detrimentally impacted his already weakened immune system making him susceptible to more illnesses. 

Due to the apartment's cockroach and rodent infestation, mold, dust, lack of hot water and general dilapidation, Osvaldo's health care provider would not release him from the hospital to return home.

A clinical social worker contacted HRC for assistance requesting a reasonable accommodation to have the owner make necessary repairs to their apartment, based on Osvaldo's disability.

The social worker stated that Osvaldo could not be discharged from the hospital because they would be discharging him to a "tremendously dangerous and life-threatening home environment." 

The property owner refused to make the repairs, even after Osvaldo's doctor confirmed that his severely compromised immune system would be very vulnerable to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, and that an infection of this nature following a bone marrow transplant could be life-threatening.

The owner refused to make the apartment habitable - until HRC got involved.

The owner fixed the habitability issues by replacing the hot water heater, kitchen counter, sink and fixtures, applying fresh paint, re-tiling the floor, sealing holes and windows, and getting rid of the roach and vermin infestation.

Osvaldo was finally released from the hospital, and recently celebrated Christmas at home with his family.

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