More bad news about Denver’s bed bug-infested Halcyon House

by nobugsonme on June 28, 2007 · 4 comments

in activism, bed bug treatment, bed bugs, bed bugs in low-income housing, colorado, denver, government, usa

The bed-bug-infested building which houses mostly elderly and disabled tenants in Denver, Halcyon House, was in the news again today.

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?

1 James Buggles June 29, 2007 at 2:55 am

The state should declare eminent domain and take ownership of the building. I’d be happy to see my tax dollars used to fumigate the building with vikane gas. After that, strict rules on what tenants can bring into the building.

Let’s face it — there’s no one slimier in this world than landlords. They make used car salesmen seem like saints.

2 parakeets June 29, 2007 at 12:46 pm

At the bedbug conference I met a woman involved in property management in a senior citizens complex in Worcester MA. She was incredibly caring about their tenants. She raised many issues about the need for education of tenants about bedbugs and the need for immediate response and appropriate action by management companies.

There is the pressing problem of treating the bedbugs now, but there is the long-term problem of keeping them from returning. The more tenants in a building, the more likely you are to get re-infested. With seniors there are so many additional issues. Many senior buildings have tenants who are immuno-compromised due to chemotherapy and they can’t be exposed to chemical treatments. Some buildings are using heat treatment, but that is expensive and again, won’t prevent re-infestation. I don’t want to live in multi-unit housing ever again.

3 bugbasher February 29, 2008 at 10:22 pm

This is so shameful! Where are the groups to stand up for these disabled people? A good tenant advocate group needs to step in if there’s no one else who gives a d**m.I started crying when I read things like this,it only reinforces my fear that no one actually cares about anyone.I was on a web site to save wolves the other day and they have a whole legal team??? While our elderly and disabled get eaten alive by bb’s??? There’s something very,very wrong with our priorites.

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