Wendy, a woman with a respiratory condition and other disabilities, lives in a first floor, federally-subsidized unit. During the summer heat, her COPD flared up and she needed to cool her apartment in order to breathe clearly, either by using a window air conditioning unit or allowing in fresh air through an open window on cooler days.
Unfortunately, the windows in her first-floor apartment were five feet high and opened like doors right onto the sidewalk. Because of their large size, unique functioning, and placement, Wendy not only felt unsafe leaving them open, but also could not install an air conditioner in any of them. Her respiratory condition continued to get worse.
The building management also had a policy that banned the use of window air conditioners while only allowing tenants to buy and use the less effective floor units. Wendy tried a floor unit, and found that it did not sufficiently cool her apartment.
We worked with Wendy to successfully request both a structural modification to her windows and an accommodation to the building policy so she could use a window unit once her windows were changed. Now Wendy can breathe better and feels more secure in her apartment.