Woman with autism says Raleigh landlord is discriminating against her after failed inspection

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh woman said her landlord is harassing her because of her disability.

Tenika Faison has high functioning autism.

"We have a hard time sometimes picking up social cues. Sometimes we get overwhelmed and over stimulated," she explained.

But despite her disability, she lives independently inside her Chesnut Hills Apartment in Raleigh alongside her support dog Princess.

"She helps me with my autism, anxiety and PTSD," Faison said.

Faison told ABC11 that her anxiety is increasing thanks to an inspection letter citing poor housing conditions and a possible eviction.

According to the notice from her Property Manager, Tenika's tub and toilet needed to be cleaned and the condensation on the windows needed to be removed. Faison listed a number of other complaints she said her property manager expressed.

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"She said there were too many lamps, you can't have more than one lamp," she said. "I can't have clothes hanging up here that it's supposed to be folded."

Faison also said the property management team complains about having items on top of the washing machine.

Tenika did admit she's not the most organized person, but she said part of that can be attributed to her autism.

"They're just using my disability against me," Faison said.

Tenika is on Supplemental Security Income and Section 8. She aged out of foster care and into the Target Housing Program for people with disabilities.

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According to paperwork shown to Eyewitness News, Tenika's unit was inspected by the Raleigh Housing authority the same week her apartment community completed their walk through.

"I passed inspection," Tenika explained.

ABC11 went looking for answers. The manager told us Faison won't be evicted but said the drip pan issue posed a fire hazard, the condensation created a mold risk and the cleanliness was an expectation of all residents.

In a written statement, Ian Byrne, a spokesperson for Mills Construction Company and United Property Management, said:
Per our phone conversation, this situation appears to be a misunderstanding. There are no eviction proceedings underway or contemplated against Ms. Faison. We are required by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency to routinely inspect all of our units and notify tenants when certain housekeeping issues require correction, and issuance of a housekeeping noncompliance notice does not necessarily mean that eviction is either pending or contemplated.

Faison agreed to clean what she can but she wants management to understand.

"A lot of people with disabilities live here," Faison said.
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