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Heart transplant survivor is concerned that her health has been compromised by conditions in her affordable housing

Corie Crowe, a now 35-year-old woman, had a heart transplant that saved her life when she was just three-years-old. She is one of the longest surviving heart transplant patients in the nation. With all that she has been through in her life, her current living situation has been one of the most concerning.

Because Crowe’s immune system has been weakened as a result of her heart transplant, she is unable to hold a steady job, so she qualifies for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher from the Santa Clara County Housing Authority. For the past few years, she has been living in the Enclave apartments in San Jose. Recently, her living conditions – as well as her health – took a turn for the worse.

Crowe was horrified when she discovered black mold growing in her cabinets. She also says that her stove is leaking fumes, which cause her to feel lightheaded. Crowe’s doctor at Stanford University Medical Center contacted the SCC Housing Authority, as well as the managers of the Enclave apartments, expressing concern for “not just her immediate health and well-being, but for her long term prognosis.”

Crowe packed up her apartment and hoped that the building manager would allow her to move into one of the 25 vacant apartments at the Enclave; however, that has not happened.

“I feel like I’m on my way to a hearse and then this will be the U-Haul that’s going to follow it,” Crowe said while she tearfully spoke to reporters at a local news station and showed them her boxed up possessions.

The Enclave denied the news station’s request for an interview. The SCC Housing Authority said that it is not legally able to discuss individual voucher recipient cases.

The waitlist for Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers in Santa Clara County is between eight and 10 years long. At the time of writing, there were 4,000 people waiting to receive placement. Crowe is worried that she will lose her apartment, and if she does, that she will end up living on the street.

“Forever I’m in limbo, just scared I’m going to be homeless,” Crowe said.

Now, she’s working with Project Sentinel, a nonprofit that specializes in preventing housing discrimination. According to sources, Crowe is entitled to Reasonable Accommodation under the Fair Housing Act, which states that property owners may have to make exceptions for those who have disabilities like Crowe’s.

Crowe’s health has become so poor that she now qualifies for a live-in caretaker. As such, she is hoping that she will be able to relocate to a two-bedroom apartment. If there’s one thing that Crowe knows how to do, it’s fight.

“When it looks like all hope is lost, as long as you have breath in your body, there’s still a fighting chance. That’s how I have to look at this situation,” said Crowe.

Mold Inspection & Testing San Jose has years of experience performing mold testing in the city and surrounding areas. We urge the owners of the Enclave apartments to arrange for mold assessments to ensure that the conditions of their property are safe for residents. To speak with a n MI&T representative, call 408.800.1612.

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