A state senator from St. Louis is calling on the management team at the sprawling Clinton Peabody public housing complex to be fired, due to alleged mice infestations and backed up sewage.
The St. Louis Housing Authority responds that it’s spent thousands of dollars in improvements, and that there’s been a reduction in mice.
State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, led a protest before Thursday’s St. Louis Housing Authority meeting.
“You should not have to live in such inhumane conditions, such as the conditions that they’re (residents) living in in Clinton Peabody,” Nasheed says.
Residents have also complained about roaches and bedbugs, and Nasheed says there’s been a “continual loss of heat.”
Nasheed wants the management team at Clinton Peabody to resign or be fired.
“I want them fired in 30 days, I want the Housing Authority to begin to listen to the voice of the people and and change the deplorable conditions down there,” says Nasheed.
Nasheed is calling on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson to travel to St. Louis, for an emergency meeting with Clinton Peabody residents.
“I have reached out to (Secretary) Ben Carson approximately a week ago asking that he come here, have an emergency meeting here in the St. Louis area with the tenants,” Nasheed says.
A HUD spokesman in Secretary Carson’s Washington office tells Missourinet that they will respond to Nasheed.
The massive 358-unit Clinton Peabody complex is south of downtown, at 14th and Chouteau.
St. Louis Housing Authority Executive Director Cheryl Lovell says they’re working closely with the city health department.
She tells Missourinet they’ve made more than $250,000 in improvements at the complex since November, adding that there’s been a 47 percent reduction in units with mice since December.
Lovell says the exterminator is at the complex weekly.
Residents have also complained about sewage. Nasheed says one resident had to leave her unit at Thanksgiving, due to backed up sewage.
Lovell tells Missourinet it was not backed up sewage, but was a “gas odor issue.” Lovell says the resident was relocated to a different unit.
Lovell also says losing heat is considered an emergency, and that the standard is to try to have it fixed within 24 hours. She says that doesn’t always happen.
The St. Louis Housing Authority’s website notes they are funded entirely by federal sources from HUD. The St. Louis Housing Authority has about 60 employees and an annual operating budget of about $60 million.
State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr., D-St. Louis, also protested before Thursday’s meeting.
The “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” reports about 40 demonstrators participated with Nasheed and Franks, and that the meeting was packed.
The complex was built in 1942.
Click here to listen to Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, which was recorded on March 22, 2018: