MCS Safe Home: Help Send a Letter of Support for Wendy Kearney to Housing Nova Scotia

Dear readers

Please read the following with an open heart and either go to Wendy Kearley’s website and click on the following links to send a letter of support:

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(image source: Wendy’s Facebook Page)

“My name is Wendy Kearley and I hope you will help me avoid homelessness and death, by convincing the powers that be to let me remain in my safe home.

I am a life-long Nova Scotia resident, a senior citizen, and a woman who happens to be diagnosed with severe, disabling Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS).  MCS is a disability recognized by the Canadian Human Rights Commission under the umbrella term environmental sensitivities.

I moved to my New Glasgow home, a detached, single-family, subsidized house, in 1989 with my three children. Housing Nova Scotia wants to evict me from my safe and accessible home because technically, I am now “over-housed” since my children moved out, even though I am completely housebound due to it being the only place I have any control over exposures to the chemicals that harm my health.

People with MCS are adversely affected by exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs and chemicals found in many common products such as pesticides, perfumes, gas, car exhaust, tobacco smoke, new carpets, fragrances, paints and building materials, personal care, cleaning and laundry products, air “fresheners”, molds, even trees and other plants. The sources of harmful exposures are numerous and everywhere.

A recent study posted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, highlights reliable biomarkers for MCS and EHS, and strongly suggests a risk of chronic neurodegenerative disease, like ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) and Huntington’s disease.

Toxic chemicals affect everyone at higher levels and in the long run, but for people with MCS, exposures to even small amounts act like poison and can cause severe and even life threatening symptoms. Exposure to certain chemicals, both natural or man-made, have caused permanent, multi-system organ damage, affecting my neurological, digestive, and respiratory systems – every part of my body! ​

My MCS symptoms are not merely inconvenient, they are severe and disabling.

My medical specialist’s instructions are to avoid the exposures that harm and disable me. I can’t leave my home, and I have to keep my windows closed at all times because of what other people do and use. I wear an industrial respirator to even answer the door. My diet consists of only 10 simple organic foods due to allergies and sensitivities.

Toxic exposures can result in the loss of my safe foods, and cause more hearing and vision loss, as well as other serious symptoms that could affect my ability to function permanently.

My medical specialists have concluded that I require a detached, two-bedroom, single-family, chemical-free house to maintain my health, not an apartment, a duplex, or a semi detached house 

As a disabled, low-income female senior citizen, to stay alive I need subsidized housing that accommodates my disability. My current house has been scent free for 10-15 years. I tolerate this environment well. My medical specialists have stated that it is best for me to stay in my current home to prevent deterioration of my health

I am being evicted from the only safe, accessible home available to me because of a bureaucratic technicality.  Eastern Mainland Housing Authority did offer two alternative units in 2014, but they were not safe or accessible and did not meet my medical or disability related needs. No other assistance has been offered.

On my own, there is no way I can afford housing that even comes close to meeting the medical needs of my condition. Creating an accessible home for someone with severe MCS takes years of work, and pre-existing dwellings cannot be made safe enough without major, time consuming, and expensive work, which cannot be undertaken by someone in my condition. 

My current home is “safe” for me.

There is no other housing available in Nova Scotia that is affordable, safe, and accessible for people with severe MCS, and which meet my medical needsThe Province of Nova Scotia needs to treat people who have disabling MCS with respect, inclusion, equality, and dignity. We need safe, accessible, affordable housing, the same as people with other disabilities do.

There are no other viable options available for me, now or anytime in the foreseeable future. Forcing me to leave here would subject me to homelessness and life threatening exposures from which I cannot recover. Extremely stressful eviction extensions and rental subsidies to move elsewhere are not useful or helpful when medically required safe, accessible,  and affordable housing does not exist.

Shouldn’t I be allowed assisted living and accessible housing, not being offered assisted dying?

Purchasing and maintaining this (or any other) home is not possible with my limited, fixed income, so until there is purpose-built, affordable and accessible housing for people with MCS, I request that I be allowed to remain in my current home with no more threats of eviction, and that I continue to receive a housing subsidy from Housing Nova Scotia.

According to Housing Nova Scotia: “Housing is more than a roof over our heads. It’s a safe haven, it means family, it means our neighbourhoods, and it’s the place we call home.  The right housing options help improve lives… We believe that at every stage of life, Nova Scotians deserve to be able to find a good home at a price they can afford. Our job is to ensure a range of programs, services and homes are available to Nova Scotians.”

To help me, please help them do the right thing and contactHousing Nova Scotia CEO Dan McDougall by email at HNSCEO@novascotia.ca or by phone at 902-424-8015.

The Hon. Joanne Bernard, Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia, Minister of Community Services, Minister responsible for the Disabled Persons Commission Act and Minister responsible for Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Dartmouth North, can be contacted by email at DCSMIN@novascotia.ca or by phone at 1-877-424-1177 .

Ask them to do the right thing, to allow me to live, which means until there is purpose-built, affordable and accessible housing for me (and others with MCS), that they allow me to stay in my current home with no more threats of eviction, and that I continue to receive the housing subsidy from Housing Nova Scotia.

#LetWendyStay
#LetWendyLive

Thanking you sincerely,
Wendy Kearney”

Click here to send a letter of support

Click on the image to send a letter of support for Wendy Kearney to stay in her MCS safe home.

Click on the image to send a letter of support for Wendy Kearney to stay in her MCS safe home.

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MCS safe house for Wendy. Nova Scotia Housing: Let Wendy Stay!

(image source: Wendy’s Facebook Page)

More

‘Wendy’s House’ Facebook Page

The Hon. Joanne Bernard

Housing Nova Scotia

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Building Products/Tradespeople Reviews

Hey there!

Just a short post to let you know that all the services and building products I use that work out for me and don’t impact on my health will be reviewed on this blog. So far, I’ve had some positive experiences with tradespeople and businesses that I’m so grateful for that I feel it’s only right to pass their names and details on. There’s my wonderful, thoughtful and patient draftsperson (aka Eco Designer), Quin Wyatt, whom you can read more about here. And many more positive experiences (and a few not so positive that I’m willing to share, too) that will feature here. When you come back in the future just click on the Freedom: an Allergy-Free, Eco-Friendly House link right here under the Building tab! All my posts to do with housing will be organised there for you. (Some are organised under Renovating for People with Chemical Sensitivities for your convenience, also.)

:)

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Of course not every product that is fine for me to use will be okay for others too. Of course, this is due to the varying nature of our sensitivities. For instance, mould is a mahoosive issue for me. (It’s taken 10 years of toiling with chemical avoidance, under the weight of my illness to work this out, because small amounts can’t be detected, which makes them invisible unless spores are en masse; and, it was not until I lived in a house that was mouldy that I realised that it was such a problem (then came the medical testing as further confirmation). If you get sick when it rains, you may want to look into this also.)) So, even though I have solvents, petrochemicals and fragrances to avoid when choosing products for building a house, I now realise that if I don’t do my best to avoid mould exposure, all those other chemicals impact on my health far worse. But for someone else it may be plastics or even all chemical based products that must be avoided, yes? Please be mindful of that when researching and choosing your own products! Your health needs are precious and need to be taken seriously.

Our house is being created with moisture control, elimination and prevention of condensation in mind. And it’s airtight, with good control of cross ventilation so we can air it regularly.

There’s a saying in Eco House Creation: Wrap em’ tight; ventilate right!

Nowhere is this more important than with creating housing for chemically sensitive people. The reason Eco Houses are wrapped tight is for energy efficiency. But for people like us, especially parts of our community who live housebound, being able to ventilate properly can be a massive issue. But even more problematic is what happens when we don’t open our houses to air them on a regular basis: condensation and mould growth are evil and can sneak up on your health, taking it on a ride into hell. Also take into account the materials and chemicals used in building and renovations; and coupled with a tight building, what you have created is the perfect environment for Sick Building Syndrome. It’s a thing. And it’s real. And it can be a pain in the arse, sinus and brain!

(I know! It’s a conundrum because of outside air polluted by cars, trucks, woodsmoke (from chimneys), fragranced-based washing powders and fabric softeners.)

This is where the right tradespeople are key in making a home safe for people with asthma, chemical sensitivity, and/or immune disfunction. Greenwashed products are great if they are really green but it’s not just about saving our environment; it’s about the people and animals who live in the homes, too. (Amelia Hill has written extensibly on this issue here.) However, if you can find the right tradespeople who listen and take on board your needs, and most importantly, what you don’t need, then you are on your way to a low VOC, chemical-free, mould-free utopia!

There is also a book out by Christa Upton who has successfully built an MCS friendly house and has written a book about it.

Stay tuned for more…

PS: if you know of any suitable tradespeople, businesses or products, drop a comment down below. This blog is read all over the world, and people will find this page or any of the others tagged with Build an Allergy-free, Eco-friendly Home via internet search engines. (And you never know, next time I’m stuck in bed with no creative writing flow, I just may make another one of my Listly Lists including your valuable input!)

(And thanks for reading, I tried to keep this short.)

Sharing is Caring…

:) 

The Steps to Building an Eco-Friendly, Allergy-Free house

The Steps to Building an Eco-Friendly, Allergy-Free house and the tradespeople and companies we used (So far we have been really lucky with the team of people who we’ve found to help us build a low-toxic house.):

Design your house. We used Quin Wyatt, eco-Designer: 0418 589 461

Find your workers (yes I have a post: How to Find or Organise Fragrance Free Workers [post coming up])

Building Biologist: Raphael Siket at EcoLibria1300 326 542

Building Biologist: Lucinda Curran at Eco Health Solutions: 0488 377 466

How to Test Building Products and Products for you own or someone else’s Suitability [post coming up]

How to Sort out Protection Based on Duty of Care with your Local Council [post coming up]

A fully, well-cured Concrete Slab, solid as a Rock from D&C Fear Concreting: 04 0369 3794

Low-toxic Pluming installed by a fragrance-free plumbing team: KLM Plumbing

Choosing Fittings for the bathroom, kitchen and laundry: @Reece Plumbing: 03 5253 3000

Choose your internal Building structure: We went with Hardwood from Calco [Post coming up]

Build a frame: we went with Damien and his team from Pristine Carpentry [Post coming up]

Choose a roof style, find a roofer [post coming up] , which are often, but not always a plumbing and roofing job (because plumbers and roofers often do both); We have the maddest Japanese style roof, which we are over the moon about, installed by Blessed Roofing, designed by Quin Wyatt, eco-draftsperson.

Virtual House Tour: using Sun Study Designs made by Quin our eco-draftsperson

Hydronic Heating by Hydrotherm [post coming up]

Laros and Proclima (Post 2# coming up on Laros Technologies and their Intello wrap)

(We will be using internal air sealant wraps by Proclima from either Laros or Passive House here in Victoria, Australia)

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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