Portsmouth woman’s home became a prison

For a double amputee a home without accommodations is a prison. Margaret’s home was her prison for two years. Fair housing laws protect our ability to truly live in a place of our choosing. Margaret, a double amputee from Portsmouth Virginia, uses a wheelchair but the unit she lived in was not designed for wheelchair use.  Unfortunately her landlord wouldn’t accommodate her by moving her to a more accessible unit and for two years she lived life devoid of joys we take for granted:

Margaret was being transported up and down the stairs by her two young grandchildren who were living with her because their mother had passed away.  For two years, she had little or no access to the outside without the assistance of family or a stranger passing by on the street. For two years, she missed cookouts, plays, church events, bingo, shopping and even the simple pleasure of going outside and smelling the fresh air.  She could not cook on the stove, shower in her own tub, change her clothes or enter her bedroom.  She said she had lost her dignity…

Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) heard about Margaret’s plight and helped her get moved to an accessible home. HOME also pursues fair housing violations to make sure that all Virginians have equal access to the free market when it comes to housing. Without fair housing laws protecting her freedom, Margaret would still be a prisoner.


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