Cleveland CMHA residents report long wait times for pest removal

CLEVELAND - Some Cleveland residents living in Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority apartments report they have been waiting for months to have bugs or rodents removed from their units.

Siara Williams lives at Lakeview Terrace Apartments, and she says she has been dealing with an infestation of drain flies since October of 2017.

Williams, who keeps her apartment extremely clean for her four children, said she has been trying to get CMHA to send out an exterminator, or move her family to another unit, for far too long.

"They are dead all over the floor, then they're flying around, so I don't understand where they are coming from," she said. "They say they are coming from out of the sink. I got to wait to get help, and I don't want to keep waiting, because I've been waiting for eight months now.

"Eight months is going to turn into a year, and year is going to turn into a year and a half."

Nekedra Addison reports she and her two children have been waiting for an exterminator since November 2017.

Addison said CMHA has been promising to help her deal with mice invading her unit at Wilson Family Apartments, but so far nothing has been done.

"I am very concerned, because my kids could be in danger," said Addison. "It's like I'm trying to do my best by catching them myself, but it's like out of control. They're in the walls, you hear them scratching at night."

News 5 contacted CMHA headquarters about these cases, and the agency said it would respond quickly.

We asked CMHA if it was behind in dealing with property pest control, but we're still waiting for an answer.

CMHA issued this statement in response to our story:

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) works with an extermination vendor who determines the steps for treatments regarding pest control.

The first step is for residents to call the CMHA Exterminations Hotline (216) 271-2500 as soon as possible. The process is for the extermination vendor to treat the unit and do preventative treatments on the surrounding units.

A service preparation checklist is given to the resident to prepare the unit before treatment. We then follow up and go back to the units to verify the units have cleared. Issues arise in homes and hotels across the country, so it is important to report any pest issues immediately for treatment.

We believe responsibility of controlling pests in multi-family housing properties requires teamwork, communication, and cooperation between residents, housing managers and staff, and pest management professionals.

Meanwhile, Addison is hoping CMHA will respond soon.

"I'm a person that works, I take care of my children," said Addison. "I pay my rent on time, never late, but if you're listening, I would really appreciate if you would do better."

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