Rochester: Pedro B.

Dear Governor Cuomo,

Housing Pedro B. (1).png

My name is Pedro and I've lived in Rochester, NY for 22 years this upcoming June. Since I've been here so long and have Section 8, you would think I have stable housing and live in a nice apartment in a nice neighborhood. But instead I've been living with mold and mice, and I've gotten bed bugs twice.

My apartment is in the back of the building and when it gets cold, I get all the cold from both sides. To make matters worse, I don't control the heat in my apartment. A few weeks ago, it got so cold that I couldn't stay in my apartment since I can't control the heat. I had to go over to a friend's apartment. 

I don't stay in my apartment much, because while I'm HIV-positive and it's not an issue for me, my other chronic illnesses are. I have to protect myself when conditions don't allow me to stay in my own apartment. 

Governor Cuomo, this is a big crisis upstate. The housing crisis is nothing short of crazy. We need rental assistance to have adequate housing or else many New Yorkers will end up homeless. I was living in chronic homelessness and through advocacy I'm in a different place today, but many New Yorkers are living in insecure and risky situations that could cost them their health. 

We need real solutions to this housing crisis starting now, Governor Cuomo.


Pedro Benitez
Rochester, NY resident