Inspector: 43 of 85 units at Oklahoma City retirement community infested with bed bugs

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OKLAHOMA CITY – We’ve been following the problems at the Wesley Village Retirement Community for several weeks now.

Residents have been complaining of numerous problems, including trash not being picked up and a severe bed bug infestation of the building on N.W. 12, near downtown Oklahoma City.

It is government subsidized housing for disabled or retired people.

After doing some checking, NewsChannel 4 learned out-of-state investors own the property.

But a local non-profit, Neighborhood Housing Services, is a partner as well; a sort of silent partner brought in so the management company could secure tax credits while fixing up the building.

When the executive director saw the problems in our stories, he decided their organization needed to step in.

On Wednesday, they held a meeting at Wesley Village with the residents.

They listened to each and every one of their concerns and vowed to fix them, starting with the bed bugs.

“We will get your issues resolved.  That’s why I’m here,” said Roland Chupik, executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services.

“Just because we live on the poverty line doesn’t mean we need to be treated like dirt,” said Cherrie Baker.

At the top of the list of complaints was the bed bug infestation.

“I had to throw away clothes, some of my furniture.  I went and bought spray,” said Ken McCary.

Even people who don’t actually live in the building, but visit, put in their two cents.

“I’ve been coming in here for I think four years and I have to spray myself with ‘Off’ when I come in so I don’t take them from one apartment to the next apartment,” said Brenda Guthrie, a home health nurse,

An inspector from the Oklahoma City County Health Department also came to the meeting and said 43 out of the 85 units are infested.

She said the management company will start facing more serious consequences.

“Today, because it’s been an ongoing issue even in the treating and they’re not treating the rooms corresponding with the other rooms that are infested, there will be some citations going forth,” said Sara Coly.

Chupik said they are in the process of working with the management company to get ideas from several professions as to the best way to treat the building.

“We’re going to have that one specific remedy for the bed bugs very soon. We can’t wait any longer,” he said.

The residents say they’re relieved someone is finally stepping in to help them.

Four of the residents volunteered to serve on a board that will work closely with Neighborhood Housing Services and the out-of-state management company to fix the problems.

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