Learn about some of the people the Center has helped to challenge cases of housing discrimination or save their homes from foreclosure:

Latisha’s Story: Moving to Protect a Family’s Health and Well-Being

A mother and her teen son stand in front of their apartment building with arms around each other.Last fall, Latisha J. and her teenage son, Christian, were living in a Norwalk apartment that had become infested with mold and insects. “There were roaches in my fridge and stove – I had to keep all our food in sealed containers,” says Latisha.  The conditions worsened the symptoms related to Christian’s developmental and physical disabilities, including epilepsy and autism.  He also began to develop rashes across his body.  A former Marine who is a fierce advocate for her son, Latisha fought with her housing provider on her own for months to try to get the apartment repaired or get moved to a better unit, but her many attempts were either ignored or dismissed.  Finally, she reached out to the Center.  One of our staff attorneys, Pam Heller, contacted the housing provider and secured the reasonable accommodation the family needed to move out of the deteriorating apartment.  Today, Latisha and Christian are living in a safe, clean apartment on a tree-lined street in Stamford.  According to Latisha, Attorney Heller was “so effective, so persistent.”  She adds, “Pam fought for us.  Her caring was what I needed to keep going.”  As for Christian?  Latisha says he’s “happy every day, smiling again,” and his symptoms have dramatically improved since the move. “If it wasn’t for the Center’s advocacy,” says Latisha, “I don’t know where we’d be.  They gave us our life back.” 


Towanna’s Story: Securing a Reasonable Accommodation

Photo of Client Towanna R. and her daughter. Towanna is sitting beside her young daughter's wheelchair and both are smiling.Towanna R. lives in a West Haven apartment with her 9-year-old daughter, who uses a wheelchair.  For over a year, Towanna repeatedly requested an assigned parking spot close to their apartment entrance to make it safer to move her daughter in and out of the car.  There was also damage to the sidewalk that made it dangerous for her daughter’s wheelchair.  The landlord never responded to her requests, so Towanna contacted the Center.  After investigating, the Center sent a letter to the landlord requesting an assigned parking spot as a reasonable accommodation and demanding the sidewalk be repaired.  Finally, they agreed.  “Now, it’s safe for us,” says Towanna.  “Without the Center, we would not have gotten this.”  


Natalie’s Story: Fighting Source of Income Discrimination

CFHC Client Natalie M. and her young daughter on the front steps on their home. Both are smiling.Wanting to leave a poorly-maintained apartment, Natalie M. had spent months searching for a better place for her family to live. She responded to an ad for what sounded like the perfect home  in Hamden – 3 bedrooms, convenient to shopping and schools – but was told that the landlord would not accept the housing choice voucher (“section 8”) that Natalie planned to use to cover a portion of her rent.  In Connecticut, it is illegal to discriminate based on a person’s lawful source of income.  Natalie contacted the Center for help.  The Center investigated and brought complaints against the landlord, real estate salesperson, and brokerage firm.  Eventually, we negotiated a settlement that enabled Natalie to secure a new rental home that met all of her family’s needs.  “The Center was a godsend,” Natalie says.  “They worked tirelessly to help us.  Now, we have a lovely, safe home.”  



A white woman and African-American man smiling, standing with their three young children in front of a tree.Taika and Jermaine’s Story: Fighting Racial Discrimination

An interracial couple, Taika and Jermaine B. wanted to sublet their rented home to an African-American woman and her children.

But the family’s landlord refused permission. By way of explanation, he claimed that his neighbors would object to “too many blacks in the neighborhood.”

The couple reached out to the Center, which filed a complaint on their behalf alleging racial discrimination.

After an investigation by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Center removed the case to Connecticut Federal Court, which found in favor of the couple and awarded damages of over $110,000.



Mavis’s Story – Saving a Home of 20 Years from Foreclosure
Photo of CFHC Client Mavis Silvera. She is standing in front of her home - a white house with green shutters - and smiling.

Mavis S. has owned a 2-family home in Hartford for over 20 years.  She fell behind on her mortgage after she lost her job and the tenant in the other unit caused extensive damage.  Just as she was trying to get back on her feet, Hurricane Irene caused more damage to her home, leading to even more bills piling up.  Facing foreclosure, she attended mediation, but her loan servicer refused to respond to her application for a loan modification.  She approached the Center for help, and we were able to negotiate a substantial loan modification that allowed her to keep her home and even secure financing for the repairs.  Mavis and her family will now be able to stay in their home for years to come.  



VIDEO: Charles’s Story – Stopping a Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure on an Elderly Homeowner

91-year-old Charles McBroom had lived in his Stratford home for 37 years when his reverse mortgage lender threatened to foreclose.  A WWII vet, Mr. McBroom and his wife had obtained a reverse mortgage, a type of home equity loan for seniors, to get the money they needed to make repairs to the house.  Reverse mortgages often contain complex and confusing loan terms that trip up many borrowers.  Check out the video to learn more about Mr. McBroom’s story and how the Center was able to help him stay in his home.

Preventing Foreclosure on a Reverse Mortgage: Mr. McBroom’s Story

A reverse mortgage is a type of home equity loan that enables older homeowners to access the equity in their homes. While they can be helpful for some homeowners, sometimes these loans are marketed using misleading advertising and closed without fully explaining terms to borrowers.

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