HOUSTON – The conditions we saw ourselves in are deplorable.
Instead of management fixing the problems, residents at the Sterlingshire Apartments said they will face retaliatory action such as eviction if they complain.
“We’ve gotten sick. We can die from black mold. Kids can die from black mold,” said resident Dominique Dosia. “Hundreds of dollars of food has spoiled in our refrigerator because the refrigerator has broken and they have done nothing about it. This has been for months and months and months.”
Wednesday at the apartment complex, KPRC2 spotted parts of some of the units blanketed with what appeared to be black mold, infested roaches, rodent feces, and some units with no air conditioner, running water, and faulty appliances.
Tenants said the issues are sickening in more ways than one.
“Somebody that owns this property should be put under the jail,” said advocate, Quanell X.
“I’m breathing in mildew. I have bronchitis, asthma, and allergies real bad,” said resident Tennill Vann.
She added that growing fungus has her using a breathing machine and asthma pump every morning. She and other residents said when they complain, they’re retaliated against with eviction notices, and even calls to child protective services.
“Dude called this morning and said that the office lady called and said the apartment is not in livable conditions for me and my kids. And if they come out and it’s not livable, then they’re going to take my kids. This ain’t got **** to do with me, this is on y’all,” said another frustrated mother.
Now, the Rainbow Push Coalition and other advocates are stepping in hoping to force change.
“You got babies that are in these apartments and the parents have to wash the bottles every five seconds or five minutes because of rat droppings. This is unacceptable,” said local Rainbow Push Coalition leader, Dr. Candice Matthews.
Management initially said they would answer KPRC 2 questions, but then didn’t answer the leasing office door.
Residents and advocates said they are taking the complaints to the Houston Housing Authority and other leaders on the local state and federal levels.
Commissioner Rodney Ellis has called for the complex to immediately correct the horrible living conditions.
“Honestly, I’m enraged,” Commissioner Ellis said about the living conditions. “It should be criminal for a slumlord to force people to live in these unthinkable conditions. Worse yet, most of the apartments are home to children. Children should have the opportunity to thrive regardless of the ZIP code where they are born.”
Council Member Letitia Plummer will share the following information with tenants Thursday night: