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Mother and children battle cockroach infestation in Inkster public housing

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jul 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 18:20:40-04

INSKTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — Walking into Shakia Logan's Pine Street apartment, you can't miss the slew of uninvited visitors: cockroaches. They're in every corner, behind most doors, and even in her kids' beds.

She said they've been here for several months.

"They’re all in there," she said, opening up a box of Saltine crackers. Three roaches crawls out of the side of the box. “We eat outside because of the roaches, they’re so bad.”

This isn't the first time people have complained about conditions in Inkster public housing.

Back in September, 7 Action News spoke to another resident battling a cockroach infestation. We've also gotten reports and photos of mold, cracked toilets, and poorly ventilated rooms.

The problems, said Andrew Carter with the Inkster Housing Commission's Resident Council, have only continued.

Carter, who also lives in Inkster public housing, acts as a liaison between residents and management.

“This is so bad, even Hell don’t want to have anything to do with it," he said.

Executive Director of the Inkster Housing Commission Paul Bollinger said part of the problem, is that residents aren't properly filling out work orders.

"We cannot legally enter a dwelling unit without having a work order," he told 7 Action News.

Inkster's Mayor Byron Nolen told 7 Action News he regularly gets complaints about the living conditions in public housing, however the Housing Commission doesn't fall under the city's jurisdiction.

The Inkster Housing Commission is federally funded through HUD. A Board of Commissioners hires the Commission's executive director.

Logan, who's been living in Inkster public housing for two years, said she reported the problem to management several times and that an exterminator came. But she said the problem only returned, and even seemed to get worse.

"We are working to try and educate our families as well as working with our resident council to educate families," Bollinger said of the work order process.

He also told 7 Action News that the Housing Commission's contracted exterminator, Terminix, is not living up to their standards.

"We did have a meeting with Terminix, with both Terminix and our team to sit down and go through where are the deficiencies in the process so we can work back through filling those deficiencies."

Since September, Bollinger said Inkster Public Housing has surveyed every dwelling unit, and relocated some families due to sub-par conditions like bug infestations.

Logan is hoping she too can be moved. She has two young kids, and another on the way.

“It does feel hopeless at this point," she said.