Allegations of mice, roaches and backed up sewage have prompted Missouri’s Attorney General to launch an investigation into the conditions at the sprawling Clinton-Peabody public housing complex in St. Louis.

April 2018 file photo, courtesy of Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office

Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) wants details about complaints that have been made.

“How many residents have complained over the relevant timeframe and what has the public housing authority done in response to those complaints,” Hawley says. “Has there been any real action taken?”

Hawley’s office has issued a civil subpoena to the St. Louis Housing Authority to determine whether conditions at the 358-unit Clinton-Peabody are livable.

Hawley tells Missourinet the St. Louis Health Department issued a December report, describing a “a mass infestation of rodents” at the complex.

“Every landlord in the state of Missouri has a responsibility, when they rent a property to a renter, they have a responsibility to make sure it’s livable,” says Hawley.

Hawley, a Republican, praises State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, for her leadership on this issue.

Senator Nasheed has called for the Clinton Peabody management team to resign or be fired, due to alleged mice infestations and backed up sewage.

Nasheed says residents have also complained about a “continual loss of heat.”

Hawley says complaints from residents indicate there’s a significant problem with rodent infestation.

“We can ask a court to force the public housing authority to make the necessary repairs and take the necessary steps to comply with Missouri law, and we can also seek damages,” Hawley says.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) wrote a March 19 letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, expressing her “grave concern” about troubling reports at the complex.

McCaskill notes many residents at Clinton-Peabody are children and seniors. McCaskill is asking Secretary Carson and HUD to implement a plan that offers “an effective and lasting solution to this complex’s infestation problem.”

St. Louis Housing Authority Executive Director Cheryl Lovell told Missourinet in late March that 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 said that they’re working closely with the city health department, and that an exterminator is at the complex weekly.

The complex, which was built in 1942, is south of downtown St. Louis, at 14th and Chouteau.


Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, which was recorded on April 5, 2018:

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