HOUSTON - Some residents in northeast Houston who have been living in deplorable conditions are now getting help.
We first told you about residents in the Sterlingshire Apartments last week.
State inspectors with the Department of Housing, who spent all of Wednesday at the apartment, say they have found several units in the Sterlingshire complex to be unlivable, at least temporarily, and they are relocating some residents immediately.
Inside the Bailey family’s $1,000 a month apartment inspectors contracted with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development were greeted by, "mold, roaches, rats, no working ice box," resident Elisha Bailey explains. So she was told, "I’m going to have to relocate immediately".
"I’ve got a team out here today of seven people. We’ve been walking the units, documenting the deficiencies," says Michael Cummings with Southwest Housing Compliance Corporation the organization that’s contracted by HUD to do the inspections. "In instances, if there are significant deficiencies we’re working with management to do temporary relocations."
A number of activists and volunteers are at Sterlingshire providing cold water because residents are without refrigerators and hot meals.
"They may even get their ordinance pulled. So there are several things that are on the table right now," says Dr. Candice Matthews with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. "A lot of these families can’t even cook at this point right now because they have rats having a convention in their stoves."
One family told me their oven is only two months old and infested again with rodents just like their previous one.
Residents say the rodents come through the walls and have taken over, sending one toddler to the hospital with bites on his legs.
"They bit him up, and he broke out real bad," says Bailey.
"I opened my cabinet and three fell out the box," says another resident Danielle Williams. "It makes me feel not like a human."
"We are human," Bailey adds. "We can live in decent housing. I keep my apartment clean. It shouldn’t have to be like that."
If you are living in an apartment in need of repairs you’re urged to notify your landlord in writing and if the problems aren’t corrected in seven days contact the City of Houston helpline at 311 to report potential health violations.