Advocacy groups claim mother with disabled son evicted unjustly
Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019
by Alys Martinez
A Santa Barbara mother and her wheelchair-bound son are just weeks away from losing their home of 16 years.
Soledad Javier and Anibal Javier-Resendiz were joined by local advocacy groups including CAUSE, Legal Aid and Casa de La Raza at City Hall on Tuesday to speak out about what they call an “unjust eviction.”
They were recently served with an eviction notice and have to vacate the property by March 10.
CAUSE Community Organizer Alejandra Melgoza said, “We consider this an act of discrimination for having a family member who is disabled.”
After Javier-Resendiz suffered a stroke two years ago, his mom built a ramp so he could gain access to their home. Javier said she got permission from the landlord. Over the years, Javier said she had also done repair work on the home, including adding new hardwood floors, and painting the exterior–all at her own expense.
She claimed her rent was always on time and she even offered the landlord more money for rent. They believe their eviction is a result of discrimination.
Attorney Richard Busch took their case and is working pro bono. “Through discovery, we’ve found one excuse after another,” he said. “We believe it’s a pretext based on the real fact which is the dislike of the wheelchair ramp.”
Javier said other tenants on the property recently signed new leases and time is running out for her to find a place to live. Her 17-year-old grandson is also facing eviction.
NewsChannel 3 tried to contact the lawyer representing the owner and the landlord, but have not received a response.
Busch said the family is considering all of their options, including filing a lawsuit.