The City: He’s 67, With Renal Disease, An Eviction Case And No Help Finding A Home
If Alvin Linton’s landlord gets her way, the ailing 67-year-old will soon be evicted from the northeast Bronx home he’s lived in for nearly 40 years.
Situations like Linton’s — where a senior with limited income faces the threat of homelessness — aren’t novel in New York. Recent city data shows the number of senior citizens in homeless shelters is growing .
But it’s not often that the landlord pressing for eviction is a relative — in this case Linton’s older sister. A long-running family dispute has become a two-pronged problem for the father of seven, resulting in an eviction proceeding and an order of protection against him, he said.
For just shy of a year, attorneys at the Bronx Defenders have tried to get Linton help through Adult Protective Services (APS), a state-mandated program that advocates for vulnerable adults — helping them obtain health care, fight eviction, secure public benefits and more.
APS also can petition a court for a guardian to help an adult who cannot independently make decisions or manage their own affairs. Anyone, including city housing court officials, can refer someone to APS for assistance,.
But APS, run by the city Department of Social Services, has twice declined to help Linton with assistance finding alternative housing — such as an assisted living facility or obtaining a voucher to help pay rent, according to Ryan MacDonald, an attorney with the Defenders’ Civil Action Practice.
“His income right now is like $557, maybe a little bit more than that,” MacDonald said. “But it’s only SSI, it’s really not enough that he will be able to afford a place on his own.”
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