Yelena Bondarchuk

In 1991 we settled in an apartment at Foothill Plaza. This is how it was before Mutual Housing…

On the windows were old curtains, and we were not allowed to put up a sun screen or even sheer curtains. We were not allowed to have live flowers inside or outside. We weren’t allowed to walk on the grass, and our children were not allowed to use bicycles on the walkways.

The air conditioning hardly worked. We had to defrost the refrigerators every month, and there were huge numbers of cockroaches — like a cloud of cockroaches. When pest control was called in, we returned to our apartment where the air smelled very bad, we couldn’t breathe, and soon they were back and crawling all over the place.

But then the apartments were sold in 1994 to Mutual Housing, and things started to change. We got new refrigerators, new air conditioning units, and new managers who communicated with us and were always trying to help us. Now we have wonderful community organizers and go on trips to together, like to San Francisco.

Life in our apartment complex has changed tremendously. All of the windows have blinds. We are allowed to hang curtains that we like and plant wonderful flowers in flower beds outside and inside our apartments. We have no more cockroaches. It’s very safe now, with fences and gates with security cards. We also have a big room where all of our events happen, like parties for holidays, kids’ celebrations, English classes, citizenship classes, and other resident gatherings. Thanks and blessings to our Mutual Housing staff and managers.

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