As an educator, I have worked with children in Fresno for many years. I have visited homes where children were suffering from the city’s lack of action around the substandard housing crisis. In some of these homes, families were forced to wear jackets in the winter to stay warm due to the lack of proper heating. Mold and roach infestations were a common occurrence.
Thousands of children in Fresno have asthma, a condition that is exacerbated by sleeping in homes infested with cockroaches (Sharfstein,1998). According to The Bee, “Children in substandard public housing were nearly 40% more likely to have repeat visits to the emergency room than children living in redeveloped public housing.”
The tragedy of Summerset Village is still fresh in the mind of the Fresno community. No one should live in housing without water, electricity, and proper heating and cooling. Our children should not live in homes with pest infestations and mold.
As a constituent in Councilman Steve Brandau’s district, I ask him and all of Fresno City Council to support a routine interior inspection of rental properties that ensures basic health and safety standards for everyone and fulfill their obligations to the citizens of our city.
Jennifer Andrade, Fresno