Housing activism on my doorstep

Pandemic

The apartment complex where I presently live—I expect to look for another place starting about the end of this month—made the news last October for attempting to evict a large batch of tenants who had encountered difficulty paying rent.[1] I’ve paid my rent on time, early even, throughout, so while I strongly disapproved, I haven’t felt personally threatened.

So it was a surprise when I came home tonight to find a bunch of legal stuff on my doorstep. No, I’m not being evicted. The legal form was a blank declaration for the local district judge (these guys operate out of storefronts and do not have stellar reputations) invoking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order banning evictions and there were three copies.[2] Otherwise, it’s resources for folks being evicted. According to this material, the mass eviction attempt I caught in the news is not by any stretch the only one: Apparently, the Alden South Hills has been doing this throughout the pandemic.

My main reason for looking for another place is that I feel very much on the front lines of a number of social issues here, including poverty, including white supremacy. I’ve been poor most of my life. I know the trauma much too well, it combines with numerous other traumas, and indeed I have been diagnosed with a post-traumatic stress-related condition. As well, I certainly don’t want to be on the front lines if white supremacists ever get their long-sought race war.

While my apartment is in decent enough condition and I’ve gotten generally decent service on maintenance requests, albeit sometimes not quite as quickly as I felt appropriate and almost never with quite satisfactory communication, I’ve been dismayed by the upkeep of the grounds. There’s litter everywhere and a lot of trash never makes it into the bins—a situation I have to blame on my fellow tenants, but which calls for somebody to come around and pick shit up. The exterior appearance of the buildings and walkways and even the interior stairway leading to my apartment betrays a certain level of neglect.

But this eviction thing? It’s positively and potentially lethally evil, which is why the CDC issued its order. Aion, the management company in a rather murky ownership of the complex that once involved Jared Kushner, and maybe still does,[3] doesn’t need the money that badly. Sorry, no. This is not okay. You don’t get to kill people. No.

I will be shredding this material shortly as I believe I have no use for it and I assume it has been distributed around the complex. But I took the precaution of scanning it in, a laborious process given that the originals were printed double-sided.


  1. [1]Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh-area apartment complex The Alden South Hills seeking large-scale evictions,” Pittsburgh City Paper, October 21, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburgh-area-apartment-complex-the-alden-south-hills-seeking-large-scale-evictions/Content?oid=18223682
  2. [2]John Fritze and Nicholas Wu, “Trump administration announces nationwide eviction moratorium through end of the year,” USA Today, September 1, 2020, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/01/trump-imposes-eviction-moratorium-because-covid-19-pandemic/5686402002/; Kyle Swenson, “Renters thought a CDC order protected them from eviction. Then landlords found loopholes,” Washington Post, October 27, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2020/10/27/trump-cdc-eviction-moratorium-loopholes/
  3. [3]Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh-area apartment complex The Alden South Hills seeking large-scale evictions,” Pittsburgh City Paper, October 21, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburgh-area-apartment-complex-the-alden-south-hills-seeking-large-scale-evictions/Content?oid=18223682

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