Thursday, September 28, 2023

Interfaith Coronado – Air Conditioning is a Necessity

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to [email protected].

Submitted by Lois Dorn

Interfaith Coronado, which operates two of the for-profit properties I have lived in over the past 6+ years, likes to keep a low profile in the city. This is not a good thing. My experience is they are a stealth organization that operates under the radar with the benign title, “Interfaith.” There have been some good managers and some very bad managers, like most rentals, but the on-site managers are not the problem. “Upper management,” as they are referred to, are basically untouchable by residents. Try to find a phone number for them, or try to email them and the result is always the same: nobody home. The local managers will not share email or telephone numbers for their mysterious “upper management.”

I am a 78 year-old who lives in a Coronado Seniors apartment that has high ceilings and no cross ventilation, as there are windows only on one side. Did I say “no cross-ventilation”?  The temperature in my unit today (Sept. 11) was 82 degrees before 8 am and going up. It has rarely dropped below 80 degrees, day or night, all summer, even with the front door open all night.

I filed a request for Reasonable Accommodation to install my own window air conditioner, at my own expense. Did I say “at my own expense”? That was early July. Two and one-half months later, I am still waiting for a reply, despite having my personal doctor sign off on their paperwork. If they ever get back to me, I know the response will be to install a portable air conditioner. There are so many negatives about the portables, I will not go into them here. But if you have ever had to rely on one, you know what I am talking about.

In addition, doing repairs in a timely manner used to be the only good thing going for this company. Now the wait time is over two weeks to get help with my window fan so it doesn’t fall out and break again. It’s not the handyman’s fault as they have cut way back and are overworking their him. Nevertheless! They are planning to paint the building (wow!), probably before they improve their repair schedule, and before they provide our units with individual water heater wraps to save on our SDGE bills (which we pay).

With Interfaith Coronado, it’s all about “show.” They try to look good on the outside but ignore the health and comfort of their residents. (For example, when I first asked to install a window air conditioner, the response was: “we don’t want anything leaning up against our building;” and “if we allow one person we have to allow everyone”.)

Summary: “our buildings are more important than the people who live in them.”

Meanwhile, I see them meeting in air-conditioned rooms (all managers have this “privilege”), driving around in their BMWs, probably returning to their air-conditioned homes.

The Los Angeles City Council in May announced an ordinance that MANDATES air conditioning units in all rentals in Los Angeles. How enlightened these folks are!  I would like to see the Coronado City Council bravely pass this ordinance, but there are so many well-heeled Islanders living here who don’t have that problem, I doubt this will ever happen.

Air conditioning in apartment rentals is an Environmental Justice issue for low-income and elderly. This year has been the hottest on record. NOAA says the “extreme heat is the deadliest of all natural disasters.” Climate Change tells us that low-income and elderly will suffer the most. An L.A. Times article says that “heat is a public-health crisis,” and that we need to look at climate impacts from a people standpoint and not a property standpoint.”

Are you listening Interfaith Coronado?

Are you listening Coronado City Council?

Lois Dorn, resident at Coronado Seniors

Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]