[Hpn] Mercy Housing Shows No Mercy

Becky Johnson Becky_Johnson@sbcglobal.net
Tue, 15 Jan 2002 22:05:45 -0800


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_0059_01C19E10.C8188500
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

From: Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom  309 Cedar St. PMB 14B -- =
Santa Cruz, Ca. 95060  (831)423-HUFF
=20
Mercy Housing Shows no Mercy
Santa Cruz non-profit affordable housing agency challenged
by woman in wheelchair it is seeking to evict
by Becky Johnson

January 14, 2002

Santa Cruz, Ca. --  Mercy Charities Housing has its critics in Santa =
Cruz.  Former City planner, Ed Davidson charged that Mercy Charities =
Housing Dolphin/Lee Project "has taken so many short-cuts it's now =
officially a circle." The non-profit affordable housing developer and =
management agency has been accused of keeping insider lists for its =
rentals, of costing too much money, of making promises and then not =
delivering, of being sheltered from competitive bidding on all new =
projects, and now, critics are upset about what seems to be petty =
cruelty.

In Judge Robert Atack's courtroom earlier today, 12 jurors considered =
testimony from Mercy Housing, the management branch of Mercy Charities =
Housing. MH manager Steve Farmer,  testified that wheelchair-bound =
Eleanor Foresta and her 30-yr companion and caretaker, Robert Prete had =
given their 30-day notice when they signed an agreement to move into a =
different apartment that would better suit Ms. Foresta's needs.  Foresta =
and Prete reside at Sycamore Commons, a subsidized housing project which =
was both built and managed by Mercy Housing.

"I sent in my 30-day notice on November 5th," Ms. Foresta told the jury. =
 "Then on November 15th the whole deal fell through."  She immediately =
contacted the management at the Sycamore Commons housing complex and =
attempted to rescind the 30-day notice.  But Mercy ended up insisting =
she and Prete move out whether they have another place to move to or =
not.

Local attorney, Ed Frey appearing on behalf of Foresta and Prete, asked =
Foresta if her lease required her to show the apartment to prospective =
tenants.  "Yes." =20
"Did anyone ever contact you because they wanted to show it to a =
prospective tenant?"   "Never."

Foresta had filed a series of complaints during her residency.  She =
reported that the handicapped units are directly beneath family units, =
the stairways vibrate when people go up and down the stairs, and that =
the sound insulation between the apartments was inadequate.  "They use =
the cheapest materials for all their construction," Prete told =
reporters.  "If you went down to the hardware store and priced every =
material in here, they all would be the least expensive."

Frustrated over insoluble problems with design elements with her unit, =
Foresta and Prete searched for an apartment which would suit Foresta's =
unique medical needs.  Confined to a wheelchair due to an injury she =
suffered at her workplace, Foresta suffers neurological impairment which =
cripples her and makes her hyper sensitive to sound and vibrations.

"And the playground is right next to the handicapped apartments," =
Foresta added with frustration. =20

Frey had presented the case as a retaliatory eviction, but Judge Atack =
ruled that could not apply because Ms.Foresta initiated the 30-day =
notice to quit.  However, MH employee, Rosa Jiminez testified she =
accepted Foresta's monthly rental payment on December 1st and provided a =
receipt.

"Mercy's position is they are evicting Eleanor and Robert, not because =
they need the apartment, and not because they were bad tenants, but =
because they can," said Robert Norse of Homeless United for Friendship & =
Freedom.  "Eleanor and Robert will be made homeless if Mercy is =
successful, and they will be rid of a couple of squeaky wheels."


All who are interested in attending the Foresta vs. Mercy Housing =
verdict should come to the Santa Cruz County Courthouse, Wednesday, =
January 15th at 9:30 AM in Judge Atack's courtroom. =20

To contact Santa Cruz Mayor Christopher Krohn call (831) 420-5020 or =
email him at ckrohn@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us=20
For more information contact HUFF at (831) 423-4833 for 24-hr regularly =
updated outgoing message on homelessness in Santa Cruz.  Robert Norse =
can be e-mailed at rnorse@hotmail.com=20
Becky Johnson can be e-mailed at becky_johnson@sbcglobal.net=20

This article can be reprinted for free by not-for profit and non-profits =
which work for social justice.

=20

------=_NextPart_000_0059_01C19E10.C8188500
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META content=3D"text/html; charset=3Diso-8859-1" =
http-equiv=3DContent-Type>
<META content=3D"MSHTML 5.00.2614.3500" name=3DGENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>
<DIV align=3Dleft><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>From: <STRONG><EM>Homeless =
United for=20
Friendship &amp; Freedom&nbsp; </EM></STRONG>309 Cedar St. PMB 14B -- =
Santa=20
Cruz, Ca. 95060&nbsp; (831)423-HUFF</FONT></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><FONT face=3DArial size=3D4></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><STRONG><FONT face=3DArial size=3D5>Mercy =
Housing&nbsp;Shows no=20
Mercy</FONT></STRONG></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><STRONG><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Santa Cruz =
non-profit=20
affordable housing agency challenged</FONT></STRONG></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><STRONG>by woman in wheelchair it is seeking to=20
evict</STRONG></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>by Becky =
Johnson</FONT></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>January 14, =
2002</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Santa Cruz, Ca. --&nbsp; =
<STRONG><EM>Mercy=20
Charities Housing </EM></STRONG>has its critics in Santa Cruz.&nbsp; =
Former City=20
planner, <STRONG>Ed Davidson </STRONG>charged&nbsp;that=20
<STRONG><EM>Mercy&nbsp;Charities Housing Dolphin/Lee Project =
</EM></STRONG>"has=20
taken so many short-cuts it's now officially a circle." The non-profit=20
affordable housing developer and management agency has been accused of =
keeping=20
insider lists for its rentals, of costing too much money, of making =
promises and=20
then not delivering, of being sheltered from competitive bidding on all =
new=20
projects, and now, critics are upset about what seems to be petty=20
cruelty.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>In <STRONG>Judge Robert Atack</STRONG>'s courtroom earlier today, =
12 jurors=20
considered testimony from <STRONG><EM>Mercy Housing</EM></STRONG>, the=20
management branch of Mercy Charities Housing. MH manager <STRONG>Steve=20
Farmer</STRONG>,&nbsp; testified that wheelchair-bound <STRONG>Eleanor =
Foresta=20
</STRONG>and her 30-yr companion and caretaker, <STRONG>Robert Prete=20
</STRONG>had given their 30-day notice when they signed an agreement to =
move=20
into a different apartment that would better suit Ms. Foresta's =
needs.&nbsp;=20
Foresta and Prete reside at <EM><STRONG>Sycamore Commons</STRONG></EM>, =
a=20
subsidized housing project which was both built and managed by =
<EM><STRONG>Mercy=20
Housing</STRONG></EM>.</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>"I sent in my 30-day notice on November 5th," Ms. Foresta told the=20
jury.&nbsp; "Then on November 15th the whole deal fell through."&nbsp; =
She=20
immediately contacted the management at the <EM><STRONG>Sycamore Commons =

</STRONG></EM>housing complex and attempted to rescind the 30-day =
notice.&nbsp;=20
But Mercy ended up insisting she and Prete move out whether they have =
another=20
place to move to or not.</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>Local attorney, <STRONG>Ed Frey </STRONG>appearing on behalf of =
Foresta and=20
Prete, asked Foresta if her lease required her to show the apartment to=20
prospective tenants.&nbsp; "Yes."&nbsp; </DIV>
<DIV>"Did anyone ever contact you because they wanted to show it to a=20
prospective tenant?"&nbsp;&nbsp; "Never."</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>Foresta had filed a series of complaints during her =
residency.&nbsp; She=20
reported that the handicapped units are directly beneath family units, =
the=20
stairways vibrate when people go up and down the stairs, and that the =
sound=20
insulation between the apartments was inadequate.&nbsp; "They use the =
cheapest=20
materials for all their construction," Prete told reporters.&nbsp; "If =
you went=20
down to the hardware store and priced every material in here,&nbsp;they =
all=20
would be the least expensive."</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>Frustrated over insoluble problems with design elements with her =
unit,=20
Foresta and Prete searched for an apartment which would suit Foresta's =
unique=20
medical needs.&nbsp; Confined to a wheelchair due to an injury she =
suffered at=20
her workplace, Foresta suffers neurological impairment which cripples =
her and=20
makes her hyper sensitive to sound and vibrations.</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>"And the playground is right next to the handicapped apartments," =
Foresta=20
added with frustration.&nbsp; </DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>Frey had presented the case as a retaliatory eviction, but Judge =
Atack=20
ruled that could not apply because Ms.Foresta initiated the 30-day =
notice to=20
quit.&nbsp; However, MH employee, <STRONG>Rosa Jiminez</STRONG> =
testified she=20
accepted Foresta's monthly rental payment on December 1st and provided a =

receipt.</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>"Mercy's position is they are evicting Eleanor and Robert, not =
because they=20
need the apartment, and not because they were bad tenants, but because =
they=20
can," said <STRONG>Robert Norse </STRONG>of <EM><STRONG>Homeless United =
for=20
Friendship &amp; Freedom</STRONG></EM>.&nbsp; "Eleanor and Robert will =
be made=20
homeless if Mercy is successful, and they will be rid of a couple of =
squeaky=20
wheels."</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><FONT face=3DArial><EM><STRONG>All who are =
interested=20
in&nbsp;attending the Foresta vs. Mercy Housing&nbsp;verdict should come =
to the=20
Santa Cruz County Courthouse, Wednesday, January 15th at 9:30 AM in =
Judge=20
Atack's courtroom.&nbsp; </STRONG></EM></FONT></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV align=3Dleft><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>To contact <STRONG>Santa =
Cruz Mayor=20
Christopher Krohn </STRONG>call (831) 420-5020 or email him at <A=20
href=3D"mailto:ckrohn@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us">ckrohn@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us</A>=
=20
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dleft><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>For more information =
contact HUFF at=20
(831) 423-4833 for 24-hr regularly updated outgoing message on =
homelessness in=20
Santa Cruz.&nbsp; <STRONG>Robert Norse </STRONG>can be e-mailed at <A=20
href=3D"mailto:rnorse@hotmail.com">rnorse@hotmail.com</A> </FONT></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dleft><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><STRONG>Becky Johnson =
</STRONG>can be=20
e-mailed at <A=20
href=3D"mailto:becky_johnson@sbcglobal.net">becky_johnson@sbcglobal.net</=
A>=20
</FONT></DIV>
<DIV align=3Dleft>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV align=3Dcenter><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><EM>This article can be =
reprinted for=20
free by not-for profit and non-profits which work for social=20
justice.</EM></FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial =
size=3D2>&nbsp;</DIV></FONT></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_000_0059_01C19E10.C8188500--