From Facing Eviction to $35,000 Settlements

The Santiagos, a family of 9, were referred to HPP by Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services in June of 2016. They received notice of eviction and were seeking assistance with their housing search and in negotiating with their landlord for more time to secure new housing.

HPP Advocates soon learned that the Santiagos were enduring deplorable conditions. These included: severe rat, mice, cockroach, and bedbug  infestations, broken windows, faltering heat, and a gas main shutoff that left the family without a working stove or hot water. The family frequently faced impossible choices, such as between bedbug bite medication for their children and adequate food.

The Alyas, residents of the same building, sought HPP’s assistance soon after. This family of 7 had been subjected to the same, terrible conditions for 8 years. They, too, were facing eviction.

On September 1, 2016, both families were summoned to Somerville District Court. With the assistance of HPP Advocates, both families won negotiated settlements of $35,000.

The building subsequently sold for $1.1 million.

Kate Berliner