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Take Action: Join SAHA Residents in Demanding Safe Housing and Clean Water

SAHA protest
Tenants and supporters protest unsafe conditions at SAHA buildings, April 2019. A new debate has erupted around conditions during and after Winter Storm Uri.

SAHA residents respond to the horrific losses of power and water that left residents feeling “left to die”—including one confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease currently under investigation.

Marisol Cortez

During Winter Storm Uri last month, residents of Fair Avenue Apartments—a San Antonio Housing Authority complex on SA’s Southside where a majority of residents are elderly, disabled, and living on fixed incomes—were among those hardest hit by the loss of power and water. Lack of preparation and delayed responses by SAHA and City leadership left residents feeling, as many commented later to television news, that they had been “left to die.”

In the weeks after the freeze, the community has learned of another issue at Fair Avenue: According to family members, one resident has fallen severely ill and been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, a rare but serious environmental illness that can develop when a building’s water systems are compromised or poorly maintained.

While we don’t yet know if this case is part of the fallout from water and power disruptions, it only underscores longstanding demands by SAHA residents for transparency and democratic management—as well as the need for public accountability from Metro Health on the status of environmental assessments into the origins of this case.

Community Demand for Accountability Press Conference
10am on Saturday, March 20
1215 Fair Ave.
San Antonio, Texas  78223

Access to clean water and safe housing and recovery from climate disasters are matters not only of environmental and health justice; they are also a matter of renter’s rights and a right to the city—a right of those who live in a place to have a real say in the decision making that shapes living conditions in that place. SAHA residents have long been organizing as part of Tenants Union San Antonio and are calling now on community to support these efforts by attending a press conference tomorrow.

Alongside resident leaders, representatives from LULAC, NAACP, American GI Forum, and other community organizations will be present.

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