Chicago (CBS) — A disabled North Side woman said she’s worried about being evicted because of a squabble with her landlord. She thinks he wants her out. He says he’s trying to be accommodating.
Connie Kasper, 77, has had the same landlord for 25 years but said a broken elevator led to a broken friendship. And it took a lawsuit to get the property owner to move her to a new building where the problems haven’t stopped.
“It’s always something and I don’t understand why it is,” Kasper said.
She’s talking about the building where she’s lived for two years. The first challenge: a paving project in the garage.
“I was going to the store and I opened the door, and I almost sunk into the sand,” she said.
Passers-by helped carry her to the street until the building laid plywood to get her back on the road.
Within months, she came home to parking curbs and a steal beam where an open driveway used to be, her primary access to the building.
“So I tried to go around the stops, and I hit my scooter,” Kasper said.
The curbs tore up a section of her scooter and forced her to use the very bumpy alley.
After more legal action, a new gate was installed in front to get her in and out.
So what now? The elevator works but is not up to code. And Kasper, who pays her rent through a CHA subsidy, must live in a building up to code to be eligible.
“I have to be out of here by January 11, 2019,” Kasper said.
Mary Rosenberg, an attorney at Access Living, said the building violated the Fair Housing Act by blocking Kasper’s access.
“They retaliated against her when they refused to fix the elevator, and ultimately if they don’t fix that, she’ll be forced to move,” Rosenberg said.
Kasper is fed up with the accessibility issues and has a demand for her landlord.
“Bring this building up to code, so I can live here in peace without every six months having a sword hanging over my head,” Kasper said.
Building owner Sal Becovic didn’t want to go on camera but said he’s worked hard to resolve all accessibility issues.
With regard to the elevator, he told CBS 2 the repairs needed could take weeks and Kasper will likely have to be moved to yet another building.
But he said he has every intention of resolving the issue and hopes Connie “lives with us for the next 30 years.”