Ivan Moreno reports for the Rocky Mountain News that the court date finally arrived; the owners sent an attorney to represent them (they’re in Maine), and they were fined $41 for “failing to spray for bed bugs”. That wasn’t the only thing wrong with the building–remember this is the one where disabled people are trapped at home because the elevator doesn’t work. And there are other problems.
Although fines for these violations “rarely exceed $1000,” the $41 still seems minuscule compared with the hardships tenants must be enduring. Management said they stopped paying for treatment because the owners did not give them money. Previous articles said there had been bed bugs in the building for 16 months.
Adding insult to injury, the owners say they’ll be upping the rent in September, to pay for maintenance.
Since 70% of the rent is subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it seems like the government is also responsible. You can’t have an affordable housing building infested, and you can’t expect tenants on fixed incomes to pay more rent.
It’s not just private business people who are dropping the ball on this one, folks. It’s our government too.
Now what are we going to do about it?