Dienstag, Februar 07, 2006
On Monday morning I was working for my role as district councillor. I had to make an inspection together with someone from the city building inspection department in a private flat. The people renting the apartment were making a claim against the house owner. Their apartment mouldered at some walls as some water tubes were lacking and humidity is coming from a very dewily cellar.
It is quite obvious that such living conditions are harming the inhabitant’s health. The house owner did not appear to the inspections. The family had 3 small kids and was definitely not rich. 2 of the kids have asthma so mildew is especially dangerous for them. The guy from the building inspection department made clear what will happen next, the house owner gets a deadline of 3 months to make sure the damage is repaired. He can only oblige the owner to repair the stuff but cannot oblige them on how to do it. So it is highly likely that they will only do the minimum and the mildew will be back in the next cold and wet weather period.
The women with the baby in her hands started crying, as 3 months are very long, they have to find probably alternative accommodation during the dry up works and they will not have any influence on this.
This family had at least such a decent financial situation, that they can afford a lawyer to help them and get the best out of this situation for them.
I really felt desperate cause I had no idea how I could possibly help them. I felt like in a scenery of ‘nachbar in not’ = ‘neighbour in need’ one of the most successful charities we had in Austria for donating money to our southern neighbours during the war in Yugoslavia. Just that it was in the middle of Vienna.
I know very well that a lot of families, especially those with migrant background are living in similar and worse conditions and they do not have this help.
It was just terrible to get such a reminder of what living in poverty in our country means and how people are treated and who is powerful and who is not.