Simply put, I need help! I am a disabled senior and have lived in the same house in the Township of Irvington since 1975. I have had two spinal surgeries and been unable to work since the first one. I am also suffering from depression due to my situation, being isolated much of the time and unable to earn more. My sole income is my Social Security at present.
I need a lawyer or someone with legal knowledge to help me. Today I received a letter from the township containing five (5) summonses for various code violations pertaining to the condition of my house and am ordered to go to the Municipal Court of Irvington on Sept 13 at 1:30pm.
Included with the Summonses was a memorandum from the Housing Department to the court recommending I be fined $4,000 which I have no part of and giving me until Sept 23 to fix everything or get another fine of $8,000.
I admit, the exterior of my house has fallen into a state of disrepair, but I do not have the funds to make any repairs. I did have the roof fixed a couple of years ago by setting up a Go Fund Me for it. I love my house and it hurts me to let it deteriorate this way.
I need a lot more than ten days to come up with money to repair the house if I were so inclined to do so. And I cannot pay any fine I may receive. My real goal is to eventually sell the house and move, with my brother, who is also disabled, to a low-income apartment in a neighboring town. I need to deal with 50+ years of accumulation first but I really need to start filling out applications.
If you can help me with this, please reply and I will contact you. As the court date is Sept 13, time is of the essence here.
Sheltone, Is Irvington's Social Services (or Health Department) familiar with your circumstances relating to your disability? They may be able to help you deal with the summons. It is important you respond to the summons and make the code department aware of your circumstances.
I have volunteered with an organization in another county and learned that local social workers have worked with code departments to help long term residents that need help fixing their homes. I volunteer at a low level so all I can say is that it has been inspirational to see local departments work together and reach out to help their residents that need a helping hand. Good luck.
If Irvington has a welfare office, you should contact them and explain your situation. They should be able to refer you to government or non profit organizations that can help you with some of the issues you describe. I would also suggest that you contact Essex County since most social work services here are performed at the County level. As stated above, you should keep the court date and explain your situation. The code violation situation will get even worse if you don’t. Have you tried calling the code enforcement office in Irvington and explained your situation. They may be able to refer you to low cost or even no cost programs that can help you fix up your home.
Why does this sound familiar? IIRC someone had posted a similar situation some years back right here. I’m wondering if habitat for humanity in Newark would be able to help out with taking care of the physical fixes to the property. They help out in all of Essex county. I will find out tomorrow and post here.
Jaytee said:Why does this sound familiar? IIRC someone had posted a similar situation some years back right here. I’m wondering if habitat for humanity in Newark would be able to help out with taking care of the physical fixes to the property. They help out in all of Essex county. I will find out tomorrow and post here.
I remember that as well.
have you considered moving into senior housing. you won't be so isolated. senior housing is usually also 'low income' it will be accessible (no stairs) if you have mobility issues.they usually have social programs. Even if you can resolved the legal problems and all fines dropped, you likely need a lot of work since they are seeing problems from the outside.
wait lists for low income/senior housing are usually long. I know 2 people in Union County that had to wait 5 years (for low income senior). You need to apply. You have plenty of time to sort through your possessions before you get a place. senior housing wait lists seem shorter and easier to get on that general low income housing.
also look up affordable housing options on CGPH and PIAZZA AND ASSOCIATES websites.
right now, property values are very high. financially, its a good time to sell. maybe you can even look into buying a less expensive condo in good condition.
another option is a reverse mortgage. they require the house to be in decent condition, but i think there are provisions if you use the money to make the upgrades. carefully research the options.
It seems to me, that you should have been contacted long before they started talking fines. If you were not contacted previously, that is a good argument against any fines.
an ethical court would suspend any fines and give you more time as long as you have a plan in place to remedy the problem, but courts are not always ethical. I had a court violate the Americans With Disabilities Act and enable my ex to use them as a tool of domestic violence.
maybe consider something like this if you could pay cash once you sell your house:
a lower middle class suburb small property that was a knock down sold for 300K about 6 months ago..they may have left the basement and the main frame standing...so if the inside of your house is habitable, you should get a good price if you choose to sell now.
if you want to try to move sooner rather than later, if you can sell for a high enough price, you can use the profit to put stuff in storage for now.
One thing to note should you decide to apply for senior housing is that there is no central listing. You need to apply to each individually. 5 year wait list is what I have been hearing in general and some facilities have closed their wait list because it is so long.
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