CMHA responds to infestation concerns as exterminations begin, but new complaints arise elsewhere

Posted at 6:21 PM, Sep 09, 2016

“We are out every 6-8 weeks to exterminate every unit whether it has an issue or not," said Carolyn Gaiter, Chief Operating Officer, at the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority.

The public housing agency is now saying they've got the bed bugs and roach infestation situation under control, after dozens of residents have complained about it and newsnet 5’s Lauren Wilson investigated the issue a week ago.

“When we are made aware of an issue we immediately treat that issue," Gaiter said.

But what is immediately? Residents we spoke to said it's taken months.

“I'm not sure exactly what this time lapse was in this particular case, that's not normal, that's not how we do business at CMHA," she said. 

When our Lauren Wilson attended a secret meeting a month ago, she heard housing officials agreeing to 16 known bedbugs cases, but now, we’re told that's not so. They say there’s only 13 units to fix in just the King Kennedy neighborhood. So is it being fully addressed? 

“Actually today, they start the first treatment is today," said Gaiter.

Meanwhile, the problem continues to spread.

“It's just horrible, horrible, I'm tired of living here," said Darnella Barnes who lives in housing on Central Ave, miles away from the King Kennedy neighborhood; where we first spoke to residents.

She's said she's complained about the roaches taking over, and even has them in her cereal.

“I ain't never lived like that, so by me coming to CMHA property and have to live like that it's just terrible," she said.

Her neighbor, Portia Miles, even had to get all her furniture removed because of bugs...

“It's very frustrating...I know they got a lot of people to deal with a lot of communities…but they have to get his under control," Miles said.

Dodging questions about fully addressing all the residents’ complaints, Carolyn Gaiter said they do accept responsible for the issues they're aware of.

“We apologize for any inconvenience that we caused any residence at any time and we will strive to make sure this doesn't happen again," she said.

CMHA did not mention fixing the problems in the other housing complexes, saying they weren't aware of those issues and right now are only exterminating in the King Kennedy apartments.

They said they hope to have the infestation completely cleared by early next week.