During last month, I performed an impromptu move in order to get into a housing situation I felt comfortable with and confident in. A variety of reasons led to this sudden decision.

1. During my cancer treatment, particularly the Chemotherapy portion which happened over December and January, I was far more concerned about getting to the treatments, than the actual treatments themselves. This was due to the fact I lived in a residential area and many of the homeowners north of me (on either side of the street) didn’t clear their sidewalks so walking to the train was dangerous, and even taking the bus north to the train was out of the question because most of the sidewalk immediately north of my home was solid ice. Also, most of the residences south of me, also did not clear their sidewalks, though they were less risky to traverse for the most part, so I could go to the southern bus stop which actually took me closer to the VA than the bus+train route I would rather have taken.

2. There was a rampant mold issue in my building, and I lived right above it. Below my apartment is where they had all the water heaters, and there were leaks. Leaks in dark, damp areas equal mold growth. With wood floors, it was easy for mold to grow in my own apartment, in the bathroom, because this was toward the interior of the building and did not receive much natural light. Also, I’d known of a leak from my bathroom to the floor below since my first month of residence because a maintenance guy came into my apartment while I was showering one day to notify me of the situation.

3. There was no on-site or even local management. Previously, our building’s managers had been in an office at another apartment building owned by someone else, for whom they were also doing management for. This was acceptable. However, the owner of the other building decided, a year or so ago, to use a different company or method of apartment management, and fired the property management company my apartment was managed by. Apparently, the company wasn’t managing any other places locally (and I’m talking anywhere in the city of Salt Lake or any of its nearest neighbors), so our management was moved to an apartment complex in Ogden (which is up the highway). This caused a number of problems.

3A) Without local management, we had to call managers at the management company. Frequently, they would not respond to calls or messages left on their phones.

3B) We had no way to notify them of maintenance issues because they rarely gave us maintenance forms to fill out.

3C) And repairs got done only if we were receiving some sort of inspection. As we were on City Housing’s Mod Rehab roster, that happened about twice a year.

4) The owner of the building had last year applied to bring in a different Housing program. I initially thought it was at least Utah-based, but when the apartment’s manager notified us of the change in August, they said it was Denver based. Calling any of the three management numbers provided resulted in no response, of course (and one actually led to a fax line). When I contacted my caseworker at Housing, all she knew was that City Housing was “losing” my building.

5. I needed to move to a place with an elevator anyway, and knew just which one to go to.

So, those were my reasons.

I made the actual move the first weekend of August. I had my mother’s help, both personally and financially, and she rented a car so we could move my boxable stuff out first. After I paid my deposit on Friday, we began the moving process, bringing boxes and other stuff over and using the grocery carts which people bring to the building when they do their shopping to take things up the elevator to my new apartment.

Things went well until our second trip on Saturday morning. This was about ten. We arrived at my new building to find the elevator had broken down. There’s only one elevator in this building, and it’s old. The building is actually a converted hotel, and its been operating since the early 20th century. It’s actually on the historic walking tour the city does during the summer.

So, we went back to my old place, packed more stuff into boxes and on our lunchtime break, Mom fetched her large folding grocery cart. We took a box or two out of the car, shoved our folding grocery carts in (I have one which match’s Mom’s), and went back to my new place. Then we loaded my stuff into them and dragged those suckers up the curled flights of stairs to my third-floor apartment. Mind you, this is more like four floors, because the ground floor is actually a lobby with a management office on a second level which is open to the ground floor.

We did this the rest of Saturday and Sunday, bringing over nearly all my boxable items.

Monday, Mom called a moving company to move my furniture and other things we couldn’t fit in our folding carts. They did a superb job. They loaded my stuff into a truck in 40 mins, then drove it over, unloaded it into the lobby of my building, then lugged everything they brought up the stairs to my new place. They didn’t hesitate to do the work, even though they had to lug it up four floors of curly stairs. This they did in about two hours, and my move was complete.