Austin: Housing Struggle Activists and Community Raise Funds for Wheelchair Ramps

By Ed Dalton

Activists with Defend Our Hoodz (DOH), along with the tenants of Springdale Gardens began a fundraising drive to build wheelchair ramps that will provide access to elderly and disabled tenants.

The online fundraiser explains, “Tenants at Springdale Gardens have been trapped in their homes for years due to the lack of accessibility for the disabled. Management has been far more concerned with giving their tenants bogus lease violations and upcharges to even care for their mobility.”

According to a disabled tenant who asked not to be named, “I have been asking for a ramp ever since last year, and I have been stuck inside for a long time.” He explained that the management had ignored him and instead harassed other tenants, “the office was busy messing with people, rather than helping me with the ramps.”

Springdale Gardens is one of the most derelict and run down complexes in Austin, the slumlords have seen intense struggle in the past weeks. Management has failed to make units accessible to disabled and elderly residents or their guests who are wheelchair bound. The landlords not only refuse to take action, they oppose anything being done to better the quality of life for their tenants.

DOH along with others has taken it upon themselves to provide access and are seeking donations to finance the construction process. According to an activist working closely with the disabled tenants, “the management at Springdale Gardens has such contempt for the tenants that even when handicapped accessible units are sitting empty, people’s requests to be transferred into them get ignored.” The activists confirmed that maintenance has been negligent all around, and that when it comes to the disabled they have put them in danger with steps and narrow walkways.

“We are fighting back alongside the people here against the slumlords,” he told the Tribune, “part of that is making Springdale Gardens a home worth fighting for.”

As activists and tenants unite to overcome the repressive tactics of the management, the city takes no notice. Tribune of the People is proud to support the people at Springdale Gardens and we ask that our readers make a donation to the fundraiser to improve their fighting capacity; we will be covering the story as it develops.

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