The Problems are Too Big to Fight Alone

Henry and Sharon Bell were taken to court last week by their landlord. They had been withholding rent due to conditions concerns in the house they have been renting for nine years. This Friday, May 24th, they take their landlord to court to file for escrow. Right to Housing Alliance members will join them there, where they will share the following letter with other tenants attending rent court in order to spread the message that they are not alone. Thousands of residents visiting district court each month face the same conditions concerns and are rarely heard by a judge. Henry and Sharon think that should change.

A Letter from Henry and Sharon Bell

5/13/13

My name is Henry Bell. My wife’s name is Sharon Bell. We have five children. We live at 2857 W. Cold Spring Lane. We have lived here for nine years as of March, 2013. I work for the State of Maryland for thirty-four years. I am a veteran. Today we had to go to rent court, our landlord took us to court because we withheld the rent for the months of April and May. He refused to make repairs on the house. The work that needs to be done is overwhelming. This landlord continues to make threats of eviction if we don’t pay rent. These threats have caused a lot of stress on me and my family, not knowing if we are going to get evicted or not. He wants to collect his rent every month and not make repairs.

We came to the Right to Housing Alliance meetings to find out our rights as a tenant. We found out that other people are going through the same stressful situations that we have encountered. The Right to Housing Alliance has enhanced our knowledge as renters. The Right to Housing Alliance brought tenants together to unite because the problems are too big to fight alone.

We are standing up for our rights in court for ourselves and others because the system needs to change to ensure the human right to safe and adequate housing.

For Human Rights,

Henry and Sharon Bell