BROOKLYN - Household pests, mainly bedbugs, beset many Mexican families living in apartments in Brooklyn, not to mention that their landlords don't make repairs to their homes.
"People are afraid because they are undocumented. They don't want to stand up for their rights because they don't want any problems," said Eduardo Rios, a Diario de Mexico reader. He lives in Sunset Park, where immigrant families suffer when their homes don't get fixed.
Rios explained that many Mexicans must cope with paying high rent and simultaneously a lack of maintenance on the part of their landlords.
"They pay perhaps $1400; rent is expensive here in Brooklyn, and the worst thing is that their problems don't end when they get home. There are pests, insects, and just plain poor quality service," said Eduardo. He criticized the Department of Housing Preservation.
He described how Mexican families refuse to give their real names in order to avoid retaliation from their landlords. They are ready to bring their cases to civil court if their needs aren't met.
"We are fighting so that our community does not become victimized by so many abuses, especially when we pay such high rent. This mistreatment is unwarranted," Eduardo concluded.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
City organizations like Movement for Justice in El Barrio contend that a large number of families become victims of abuse because they aren't aware of their rights.
"It's always good when people ask questions, when they make calls or turn to a support center in order to learn their rights as tenants," said the organization, which provides services to immigrant families in East Harlem.