Sudbury Housing tenant says she’s living with bed bugs, cockroaches
Mellissa Bergeron first moved into her unit on Bruce Avenue in Sudbury a year ago, but it wasn’t until a fire next door about six months ago that she said bed bugs and cockroaches infiltrated her unit.
Bergeron said her son is covered in bites, and she worries for her young daughter. She said because of all of the things wrong with her unit, she's refusing to pay rent to Sudbury Housing.
“Housing won’t fix it -- they say it's my fault, that I’m a dirty woman," she said. "There’s been no help. I’ve pleaded and begged. They’ve taken me to court for withholding my rent (but) they won’t see it on my side."
She said there's a host of other problems connected with her apartment that badly need to be addressed.
“My basement wall is molding and falling apart -- you can pull the whole plywood off of the wall and it would crumble everywhere," said Bergeron.
"There’s walls bubbling, finishing nails that are popping out because of the water damage from them putting the fire out. There’s a dead raccoon living in the ceiling above my bed. My attic roof fell on my head and gave me a concussion.”
While she’s concerned about her home, it's the health of her nine-year-old son and 14-month-old daughter she’s most concerned about.
“My son is so covered in bites that he is so itchy, he’s ripping them wide open and he looks battered and bruised from it," she said.
"My 14-month-old daughter has them all over her legs, all over her body. (She) has something called cockroach fever and is getting very violently ill.”
In order to fix the infestation, Bergeron said Sudbury Housing told her she would have to pay the rent she owes and get rid of everything she owns.
“They haven’t done anything," she said. "I have to throw out everything I own, my children own. I don’t get to keep anything because of this. Then they will come and clean out my home for me to be comfortable in it.”
When CTV reached out to the city for comment, we received the following statement:
“We have an extensive pest management program that provides support to our residents during a pest infestation. We have been working closely with our pest contractor to resolve pest issues, and we stepped up our program in September to provide greater assistance to our residents.
"As with any pest management process, cooperation from residents is required in order to assist with treatment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some residents have not reported their infestations to the maintenance department or been willing to permit staff and pest contractors to have access to their units to complete necessary treatments.”