Suffolk family presses housing authority to fix bed bug infestation

10 On Your Side

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A woman reached out to 10 On Your Side saying her brother, diagnosed with autism, is living with creepy crawlers at a Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority complex.

It’s been an ongoing issue for more than a year at the Chorey Park Apartments, according to this family and the housing authority.

The housing authority met Tuesday night for a board meeting, with the issue on the agenda.

They say they have a plan to make improvements. The Hall family says they want to see action.

Veronica and Geneva Hall say they have had enough.

“On the first of July, Dontae alerted us that he had bed bugs and he hadn’t slept in months,” Veronica said.

Dontae is Veronica’s brother. When she learned of the problem, she immediately went to investigate.

“I found bed bugs out in the hallway where the residents walk. I found them in the stairwell, laundry room and Dontae’s unit.”

She formally made a complaint, and says on July 10, management chemically cleaned the apartment.

“The 17th, it was like the chemical process never happened because the bed bug infestation seemed like it grew,” she explained.

Documents show management knew of a problem back in January.

“Anyone that had bed bugs at that time received that letter as part of like a lease violation, but all that we were trying to push at that point was you have to prepare for the treatment that is going to come,” said Tracey Snipes, the Executive Director of the Suffolk Housing Authority.

Six months later, they’re facing the same problem.

“It is something that the agency takes very seriously, because we have compassion for every member of our community, and especially our elderly and disabled.”

Snipes said they’re are changing how they clean with new heating equipment

“We have purchased equipment and our maintenance staff is currently getting training on that,” she said.

But is it going to prevent the issue for the future? Snipes says it is a two way street.

“That is what we are hoping with the heating equipment — especially since our maintenance staff has been trained to identify bed bugs. But the biggest thing that needs to happen is a resident has to inform management that they are having an issue,” Snipes said.

Snipes says the new equipment training will continue this week in two of the four apartments confirmed with an issue. She says they plan to have it fully concluded in the coming weeks.

We will stay on top of this and bring you any updates.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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