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Bed Bug issue unveils deep seeded corruption in HUD Housing

(4 posts)
  1. otaku1811

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Feb 1 2012 12:41:26
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    Hi everyone,

    I know some of you have been keeping tabs on what I post here about what has been going on here in HUD housing and the disaster of a situation that erupted when 6 months ago a tenant was found to be infested with bed bugs. Long story short, the management here pleaded poverty, claiming they did not have the funds to treat the problem and that it was the tenant's responsibility to deal with their bugs. Six months passed and the management still neglected to handle the problem as it spread from unit to unit until nearly 19 apartments in this 176 unit complex had been found with the bugs (mine included). It has been an outrage and the elderly and disabled people who live here have been crying out for help, reaching out to our community for support and answers. We wound up getting an out-pour of attention from the media, congress, and our local government. Now all of the threats from management to raise our minimum rents by $50, the intimidation against people to speak out, and the Housing Authority management's blatant lies have come out. In fact, the information that was exposed at last night's city council meeting before the mayor and people of this township may be serious enough to put the entire Saratoga Springs Housing Authority out of business permanently.

    At those meetings I was finally able to speak up about what the Housing Authority did to me and my mom when she was still alive and when she passed. When she was in a wheelchair and the winter had gotten very bad, they did not clean the parking lot or the sidewalks and I could not get my mom to her car to go to her doctors for cancer treatment. They even plowed her car in several times out of spite because we dared to complain. On top of that, they refused to make handicap parking spaces in the parking lots where we lived. To add to that injury, when my mom passed away on June 11, 2009, they told me I had to be out of that apartment by June 30th. I was given no written notice nor did I have time to grieve my loss, and the move from Vanderbilt to Stonequist led to the loss of my two cats and my dog, pets that were my family that I loved dearly. I lost my mom, my home, my pets, and the gardens we tended for thirteen years, all in one swoop because the Housing Authority had no compassion and no common sense. I was put here in this building for the elderly and disabled, with bed bugs crawling through my walls coming into my apartment, and a management that refuses to handle the problem properly. When is enough enough?

    While, yes, I am grateful to have a home, heat, hot water and that they didn't simply put me out on the street, I am still deeply hurt by how things were handled. I continue to hear more and more stories from other tenants about various human rights violations committed by the Housing Authority and their negligence over the 377 properties they run. So now, let me tell you all what I found out last night at that city council meeting.

    The head of Management and his Housing Authority team have approximately 2.8 million dollars in their account of unrestricted funds- that is a huge sum of money that is not being used for anything (other than, most likely, fattening their wallets). They have spent $56,000 from 2010-2011 in travel expenses going to places such as Las Vegas, Florida, Washington DC, and Phoenix. The executive director is making $152,000 a year in income and neither his income, or that of his staff have been approved or regulated by the city council or HUD. Most of the people working in the Housing Authority are related to him and his family. The Housing Authority has no debts or bonds and are violating several by-laws and State laws that can lead to their entire organization being put under for good. That means all of their properties will be taken over by the city of Saratoga Springs and become privately owned property. What that means for us low-income residents? I don't know, they may make us move to some slums in Albany, Troy, or Schenectady and sell us out, or they can have mercy and let us all stay here as low-income housing.

    So now the question was posed: Why hasn't the Housing Authority paid to have the bed bug problem taken care of immediately? The Orkin company said they would inspect this entire building free of charge and that a comprehensive treatment for one year would run them about $25,000+ to treat all 176 units. Now the executive director can no longer tout that they lack the funds, in fact, with 2.8 million dollars in the bank, I'd say he has enough money to not only treat this entire building, but also put in those handicap spots, hire better security for the terraces and my building, hire more than 6 maintenance men, and run this entire operation a whole lot better.

    So now I will leave you all with some links to articles and videos on this topic. The mayor has called for a forensic audit of the Housing Authority and I am quite positive after all of this scandal, someone is going to lose their job or go to prison. May justice finally be served. Thank you all for reading this and God Bless!

    http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s2460015.shtml?cat=10114

    http://www.cbs6albany.com/video/v/1426371795001/wrgb-localnews

    http://www.cbs6albany.com/video/v/1317045216001/wrgb-localnews

    http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2012/01/31/news/doc4f28ac6acde1a191394801.txt

    http://www.cbs6albany.com/articles/saratoga-1289985-springs-claims.html

    http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2012/01/31/news/doc4f286fc06d1d1200044319.txt?viewmode=default

    http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2012/01/31/news/doc4f2711f61cb68104352213.txt?viewmode=2

    http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Tenants-Housing-issues-take-toll-2879452.php#photo-2153651

    http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Spa-City-wants-audit-2857496.php#photo-2153653

    http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S2475033.shtml?cat=10114

    http://www.cbs6albany.com/news/saratoga-1290179-springs-housing.html

    http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2012/01/20/news/doc4f18e740088ee768086275.txt?viewmode=default

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Feb 1 2012 12:48:20
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    Wow, I hope this works out for the best ! pb

  3. NeverSurrender

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Feb 2 2012 1:45:37
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    The mayor has called for a forensic audit of the Housing Authority and I am quite positive after all of this scandal, someone is going to lose their job or go to prison. May justice finally be served. Thank you all for reading this and God Bless!

    Here's the problem, nobody ever loses their job or goes to prison. This type of situation makes me sick. It really does. Let's say someone does go down how does that change your situation (and others)! Without getting too much into another topic I don't blame the legitimate people in the occupy movements throughout the country. I know this country is in a financial mess. Imagine what it will be like when the country has a full-blown BB epidemic. That may sound crazy but take a look at the BB registry. Anyone want to go to Vegas or Disney. Holy crap it's just not worth it. I'm sorry to hear everything you're going through. I'm not sure what I can add other than I hope things work out and wish you the best. Never (ever) Surrender!

  4. bedbugger888

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 12:06:24
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    hi otaku1811

    I live in a housing building in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. Tenants in a lot of buildings have been putting up with bedbugs for years and Manitoba Housing turns a blind eye to the extent of the problem and tries to make it look like they are winning the war on bedbugs, when they are obviously losing. Please read the letter that is circulating around Manitoba Housing as the tenants are starting to organize and take action to try and work for positive change.

    Dear Fellow Tenants,

    I’m writing this letter from pure anger and frustration directed towards the pest control service provided by Manitoba Housing.
    I am a long standing tenant of 185 Smith. I am sick and tired of month after month, and year after year of being “treated” for bedbugs, with absolutely no results. Are you just as mad as I am? You should be. Every month a paper comes under my door, informing me of an “inspection”. This is nothing more than some guy putting down some stupid sticky pads. Next comes a paper informing us of a “treatment”, which takes 30 seconds and evolves us being out of our homes for 4 hours-month after month, year after year. If we don’t feel like cooperating they threaten to evict us. Are you understanding this? Threatening to evict us for not cooperating in the process that does nothing! How many years or lifetimes does it take to get rid of bedbugs? My fellow tenants, this bullshit we are forced to take, and have taken is ridiculous… and stops now! I’ve spoken to some of you and you feel the same way. Even the property manager I’ve spoken to doesn’t believe in the process. Together we will be strong and have a voice, and that voice will be heard.

    For years I’ve blamed the spray guys for not being able to get rid of the bedbugs, now I’m not so sure. We have heard from others and seen in 185 Smith just how many units get sprayed in 1 day. How can they be expected to get control by doing what seems to be the whole building in 1 day or 2? Do the math, 30 seconds a suite. No wonder why they will never get control of the bedbugs in our lifetime and why should we pay the price month after month, year after year, with no result. After much investigation I have found the guy responsible for the sprayers is a guy named Dean Geller. He is the “supervisor’. I have only seen Dave Funk on TV and thought he was the supervisor as he is always answering questions about bedbug and the spraying, but Dean Geller is the supervisor . We have all been wondering why Poulins isn’t spraying anymore as many of us think they were doing a much better job and would like to see them return. We have also seen a guy from Monarch Pest Company on the news and he seems to know what he is talking about. I cannot live with the bedbugs anymore, so one of these companies has to take over the spraying, as the current system isn’t working.

    I hope after reading this, every tenant is as mad and fed up as I am. Despite what you might think or feel, we have the right to ask lots of questions about the service being provided to us by Manitoba Housing , and its ineffectiveness in getting rid of the bedbugs at 185 Smith. As tenants, we have the right to effective pest control services and to live in a pest-free environment within a reasonable time. We have the right to not being threatened by eviction or being talked down to.

    My hope after you have read this letter is to share your story. We want other tenants of 185 Smith to share their stories on the ineffectiveness of the spraying. We also want tenants of other Manitoba Housing buildings to do the same, as I am distributing this same letter to multiple buildings as well as various media outlets.
    Go to the 21st floor of 185 smith and demand answers as to why we are still itching and scratching at night and are still infested with bedbugs.

    Let these people know if you are being treated for bedbugs. How many times have you been treated for bedbugs and for how many months or years. Let them know if the problem is getting better or worse. Have you been threatened with eviction or been talked down to? Let them know how long it takes for them to spray your unit. Let them know about your frustrations or concerns. These people and organizations will listen and help.

    I also ask that you speak with friends and family in other Manitoba Housing buildings and ask them if they have similar experiences with the pest control service provided by Manitoba Housing. If so, have them call as well and lend their voices to the cause.

    We have to understand that there is strength in numbers and by writing and calling in, we will make our concerns known. By doing this we will be heard and we will affect positive change. Also, call and mail these people continuously until they agree to help. We must be relentless in our pursuit of justice as we cannot and will not live with the bedbugs anymore. I would like to thank you for lending your voices to this very important cause…enough is enough…the madness ends now!!

    BBA

    Of course, I removed the contact information that was included in this letter asking tenants who were having the same sort of problem, and there are a lot of them, to contact the media and goverment departments to try and gain there support.


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