I am María José Anitua Trevijano’s aunt and have relied on her as a lawyer for various professional matters for many years.
Dear María José, you asked me how my experience with refugees has been. At first I thought about it a lot because I had never rented the flat. My nephews and nieces had lived there and I kept the house ready in case they needed it. After thinking about it, I said yes, because I was doing charity work. And I was getting some money, which I could also use for some repairs the neighbours wanted to do. But at the same time I was worried about getting it back if I needed it. I needed to have that security, as was reflected in the contract María José made with Arteale.
The relationship with the neighbours was very important to me and that is why the Arteale Foundation took care of talking to most of the neighbours, who did not object to the entry of an Algerian family in a small community and some of the neighbours are family.
In the contract it was written that if there were problems with the community, the refugee family should look for another location. The family had a two-month-old child born in our country and we had a very cordial relationship, but with a small child there were problems with the neighbour downstairs because the small child cried and woke up her granddaughter. And Arteale took care of managing this conflict in a positive way, without me having to do anything.
Then came the Covid-19 pandemic and the family started to have a hard time because they lost their jobs and the rent was reduced a lot, as well as other expenses such as heating, electricity, etc., which I passed on to them as soon as they told me. We have been very happy and I think they have received a big favour. The Arteale Foundation also lent them money.
Once the family left, a neighbour told me that he was glad they were leaving, but other neighbours told me that they had been very good to them.
María José thank you very much for everything and a big hug.