Apartment Owner Evicted 85-Year-Old Widow After Offering To Pray For People

Sep 14th, 2020

The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) reported that a senior widow had been forced out of her apartment “due to her religious convictions and advanced age.”

That woman is Diana Martin. She has been living in her apartment in Hanford for almost 14 years. When she moved in over a decade ago, the apartment was advertised to seniors. Draxler had purchased the apartment complex a couple of years ago.

But for some reason, the owner evicted her from her home. According to the owner and city’s Vice Mayor, John Draxler, an 85-year-old widow, Martin, has been evicted because she is sharing her faith and is offering to pray for people. He also added that her age is also one of the reasons why they decided to evict her. Because of this, she decided to contact the Pacific Justice Institute for help.

Even though Martin had fully paid her rent and she had nowhere to go, Draxler still told her to leave. CBN News reported the incident stating, “When [Martin] started to cry, protesting that it was winter and she had no children living nearby, Draxler reportedly told her that was not his problem.”

Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) alleged that in February 2019, Martin was informed by her landlord that she will be evicted from her unit at the Windgate Village Apartments in Hanford, California. According to PJI, Draxler “cited her religious activities — sharing her faith and offering to pray for people — as reasons why she must find a new home.”

In a press release, PJI Attorney Matthew McReynolds explained, “What happened to our client, Diana Martin, was wrong on many levels. No one should be evicted based on their religious expression, but especially not an elderly great-grandmother. We are hopeful that a State investigation and remedial action will ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else in this community.”

After giving seniors home, the apartment complex started changing their management and invited young people for the last couple of years. And in the process, they started evicting elderly residents, and sadly, Martin was one of them. Martin still had months remaining on her year-to-year lease. Martin filed a complaint against Windgate Village Apartments with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

PJI allegedly explained that Martin had a falling out with building management over an “attempt to take away her longtime parking space and reassign her to one some distance from her door and next to a dumpster. Martin had raised safety concerns about homeless men foraging in the dumpster, so the move seemed retaliatory.”

McReynolds added, “Defending yourself against a management bully like this is not grounds for an eviction, it’s just common sense. I hope all of us could be described as combative if anyone tried to treat our mothers, grandmothers, or great-grandmothers this way.”

During an interview with Martin’s son, Draxler allegedly repeated the religious objection about the elderly woman as well as her age. The attorneys also discovered that Martin was not given enough time for eviction. And because of this, they have already filed a discrimination charge against the management of the said apartment complex.

What do you think about Diana Martin’s eviction? Was it right for her to be forced out of her apartment because of her faith and religious beliefs?