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Senior forced to live out of her car after her rent nearly doubles
Now she's using her car as a home, making a makeshift bed in the backseat.
Colby Maxwell
10.07.21

All around the US, people are experiencing some real financial challenges in the wake of the pandemic. For some, the solution looks like finding a new side-hustle, but for others, the risk is losing their home.

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Gail Clay is a senior living in Arizona who recently faced a horrible reality.

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Gail is a 63-year-old senior who has recently made headlines when she realized that she was going to have to live out of her SUV when her rent spiked in July.

Her Tempe apartment rent didn’t just go up a bit – it doubled.

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When she realized that she was basically being evicted involuntarily, she didn’t have a place to go. Her only option was to take her dog and live out of her Honda CRV.

“It’s really kind of fun, except sometimes it can get kind of hot,” Clay said.

When news coverage hit and she was interviewed, she seemed to be totally fine with living in the new circumstances!

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“I’d rather pay my car note and just enjoy life. It’s a choice that I honestly make every day, if I want to be sane, or if I want to be insane,” she said.

Sadly, Gail doesn’t just have the rent that hurt her financially, she has lots of other fees that stacked up overnight. She was ordered to pay $1,064 that covered her July rent, court costs, and a few other things. Incredibly, that number shot to nearly 9k all of a sudden.

Gail isn’t even sure why the fees went from 1k to 9k overnight.

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Apparently, the letter that she received from her landlord said they didn’t receive the keys on the date they needed them and it was going to cost two months of additional rent. But, Gail has record that she sent the keys to the property managers through certified mail!

She has records of her cleaning the apartment, her key return, and more.

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It’s clear that the numbers don’t add up, especially with how detailed Gail has been with everything. Even after submitting all her proof to the management firm, they still aren’t stopping. There’s clearly something else going on.

With everything that’s gone on, Gail thinks it’s retaliation.

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“It’s a catch 22 but I’m not caught because I don’t mind sleeping in my car,” she said.

Gail is retired but will occasionally get work as a licensed massage therapist. The only issue is that she makes enough money that she’s disqualified for certain help and benefits, but she doesn’t make enough to make all of her ends meet. Essentially, she can’t rent anywhere.

Despite how upsetting the situation is, Gail does her best to keep her mind right.

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Written on her bed is the word “breathe”.

“When I get overwhelmed; Gail, breathe. This is only temporary; Gail breathe,” she tells herself

She sets it up through camping platforms and doesn’t mind it, as long as it’s not too hot. The only thing left is to keep chugging along and fight the retaliation from the management company.

Check out the video below!

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By Colby Maxwell
hi@sbly.com
Colby Maxwell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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