In Your Corner: Bugs Invade Eden Green

By Ryan Elijah

October 1, 2010 Updated Oct 1, 2010 at 8:26 AM EDT

Madoline Warfield's story would make many cringe.

"I kept seeing bugs on the couch and I found bites all over my neck", said Warfield.

After seeing the bites she moved out so management could treat the apartment, but one day after the treatment, we found the bugs still crawling on her couch.

"I have a son to take care of, we shouldn't have to live like this. We don't have anywhere else to go", said Warfield.

The nearly 200 units at Eden Green are subsidized housing, living conditions and bugs have always been a problem, but not to this extent.

Bob Beale, President of Premiere Property Management said, "We took over in May, I think the problem was significant and it had built up for many years. It's the worst problem we have at the moment"

When Premiere took over Eden Green over 3 months ago they said it was in the worst condition of any property they managed and they said the clean-up process will take time.

Housing and Urban Development inspections have given Eden Green the lowest score of all federally subsidized housing in Allen County for the last 2 years. The Indianapolis property management company resigned in May, shortly after disputing HUD's scores and Michigan's Premiere Property Management has taken over.

The company has a perfect rating with the Better Business Bureau and president Bob Beale said the bug infestation is better after an extensive extermination process. He agrees with Madoline that some residents are as much a problem as the bugs, that's why the company has begun an aggressive eviction plan to rid the facility of problem residents.

"we've been identifying residents that don't belong here and have had problems in the past, residents that are interfering with people that really deserved good affordable housing, so we're pursuing them as well", said Beale.

Premiere has a long term plan for major renovations at Eden Green. They feel it can be their best section 8 property based on the commitment from the local community and city officials. Neighborhood Code was encouraged by their meeting with Premiere after they opened a case that will monitor the bug infestation problem.

As for Madeline, after 2 weeks of staying somewhere else, she threw away her furniture and moved back into the apartment. The bugs seem to be gone.

Premiers told us treating the problem is extremely difficult because the bugs are often brought back into the apartments through furniture or other means. The problem is certainly not unique to this area as many facilities across the country have struggled recently with controlling bed bugs.

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