My family and I are in the verge of losing our home.
In April, two officers from the city council visited our home in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia while we were having breakfast. We were told that our house has accumulated $12000 debt of land tax which came as a terrible shock to us. We were also informed that we have until the end of June to settle the debt or we will be evicted. The house is the only thing left by my late father and provides my widowed mum, my eldest sister plus her three-year-old toddler, my mentally disabled younger sister, my newly married youngest sister and her husband, 15 cats (rescued) as well as myself a roof over our heads.
My youngest sister, her husband and I are the only people who earn an income. My brother-in-law, an Indonesian, also needs to send living expenses for his parents back in Indonesia so his monthly salary is already halved. I earn around $8400 per annum. My salary is used for monthly groceries, half of the utility bills, supplementary food for my mum and mentally disabled sister, who both are diabetics, bank commitment, study loans, medical supplies (like needles for insulin pen), cat food and litter and for my monthly transportation expenses plus lunchfood. My sister who earns $7500/annum takes care of my mum's hypertension and diabetes medication which costs almost RM500/ month, another half of utility bills, most expenses of cat food and litter for rescued cats and house maintenance. We have never gone hungry ever since I got a job after I finished my degree, but we are always on a tight budget every month.
A little background of my family, I have six half-siblings from my father's marriage to his first wife. After she passed away from servix cancer, he married Mama. There are huge age differences between my mum and dad, as well as between his children and us. Throughout childhood and teenage years, we four siblings were abandoned by our late father, forcing our mum to take us back to her hometown in order to feed us and send us to school. Our mum got back together with our dad because he was ill and because my younger sisters lacked their birth certificates, the issue was finally resolved after years, but it still gave my youngest sister and mum a headache when she wanted to get married last January. In short, our family is not exactly a happy one.
In the years before he passed away, since we were still in school my dad had given full authority to our older half-brothers to take care of the house official matters. After I got a job, due to my small salary compared to their own well-off conditions, and apparently because we are females, our brothers assured us not to worry about the house. We only need to maintain the house while living in there. Thus, all letters from the city council were passed to a brother ASAP every time. Apparently, we should have known better.
Starting July 1st, my birthday month, due to accumulated debt that could have been avoided, we might become homeless if the we failed to settle the full amount. Over the years, no family representative had gone to the city council to negotiate with the officials (my brothers apparently didn't care, us due to being kept in the dark) making our case a difficult one. I already have a huge bank commitment from a personal loan made to cover medical expenses for an injury a few years back and post-natal care for my eldest sister who gave birth prematurely while I was recovering (as you might have guessed, we have no insurance coverage - we cannot afford it). Her story is another complicated one.
I am terribly sorry if this sounds like a plot for a soap opera. Unfortunately this is my family's reality. We have been living with this reality since birth, but never in my wildest dream I had even thought of this reality, where I have to ask for help publicly to make sure my ailing mother, disabled sister and my little nephew as well as our cats to not be homeless.
Please, if you think you'd like to help us keep our home, donate a minimum of $2 for our cause. We are sorry to fix a minimum amount for this crowdfunding, but we have less than two months to settle the debt. If we managed to collect extra amount, the money will be used to repair our leaking roof. Currently I am using buckets to catch the rainwater so my room won't get soaked.
If there's no extra, that is okay too. I just hope my family can keep the house, at least until I save enough to buy a house for my mother to live in peace.Your help will always be remembered and I will find a way to pay it forward, maybe to another person who needs to keep a safe place to live in.