People in CMHA housing forced to live with bug infestation

Authorities promised to fix the issue 3 weeks
Posted at 5:50 PM, Sep 02, 2016

Residence in public housing in Cleveland are sleeping with one eye open, because they are forced to live with bedbug and roach infestation.

NewsNet 5 spoke with many of them today and they expressed that they were frustrated, annoyed and just downright disgusted living in the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority apartments.

They said this problem was supposed to be fixed weeks ago.

"I mean all types of roaches run in and out of there," said Angel Bellow-Fanning, as she pointed out a hole in the corner near her bathtub in her CMHA apartment.

The creepy crawlers have been taking over the apartments for months residents say.

“I wake up in the night, go get some water, turn on the light in the kitchen, thousands, literally thousands of roaches crawling everywhere," Bellow-Fanning said.

Bellow-Fanning has been tirelessly cleaning to get rid of the army of roaches.

"I spent almost $200 using [cleaning] bombs. Clearly they don't feel like this is serious."

She explained the bugs and the mold in her place are causing major health problems.

“My son has been have to address mold like its a disease and it could potentially kill everyone," she said.

In another building, Camille Johnson is up all night scratching.

"I'm extremely can't even sleep like you know get a good nights rest," she said.

Bed bugs have been biting her kids and she worries there's nothing she can do about it.

“I'm very concerned about my children...them having bites on them and being able to function, you know how can go to school and function all day?" said Johnson.

Weeks ago, residents called a meeting with housing officials to complain about the issue. I went to that meeting, where cameras weren’t allowed and heard housing officials agreeing to the 16 cases of known bedbugs, saying they would fix it immediately. Yet almost three weeks later…

“The lady, she said she'll take care of it, and she never addressed it," Bellow-Fanning said.

I reached out to CMHA officials for an interview, but they declined. Instead they sent this statement, “We are currently working with the exterminators and will follow up with the residents to get this addressed as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, emotions continue to boil.

“You’re giving these people money to house us into an infested roach infested place...I'm emotionally, physically, and mentally drained," said Bellow-Fanning.

A few residents have said some of the new property managers have been helpful in listening to their concerns, but overall the problem still persists and they want change.