KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) – A pastor is speaking out in hopes of helping seniors living in an apartment building that has a bed bug infestation.
Victory Hills Baptist Church Pastor Cindy Boyer said the bed bug problem has been going on and off at the Victory Hills Apartments for about three years.
Victory Hills was previously operated as a senior independent living apartment complex. In 2019, it was converted into an affordable apartment building. Many seniors still living at the facility said they are dealing with a bed bug infestation again.
“This is a huge crisis for these people,” Boyer said.
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According to Boyer, several tenants stopped coming to church due to concerns about the spread of bed bugs because their apartments were infested. Boyer no longer enters the building to lead practice groups. When she delivers meals to elderly residents, she does not enter the building.
“One of the floors is so infested that you can see bedbugs on the ceiling in the open areas,” Boyer said. “People couldn’t visit family for Christmas.”
She said the issue affects several tenants’ health.
“One has a wheelchair that does not work well. “She still hasn’t been able to get to the doctor because transportation services don’t want to transport people with bed bugs,” Boyer said. “We also tried to get a home health agency to come in to do an evaluation, but they didn’t come in either because of the bed ug issues.”
The United Government’s Property Maintenance Compliance Division received eight complaints from residents and their family members. They also received confirmation from on-site management about the current infestation. An inspector posted a notice that, if a plan is not in place through a Notice of Unfitness Hearing on Jan. 26, no one will be allowed to live in the facility until the issue is resolved.
“I hope there is a long-term solution,” Boyer said. “There is very little affordable housing. Many senior living facilities have waiting lists.”
According to code enforcement staff, they do not want to displace a single tenant, but instead encourage the responsible parties to resolve the issue as soon as possible for the health and safety of all residents and their families.
KCTV5 News reached out to the Tutera Group, which manages the building, A spokesperson said they are preparing a plan to submit to the unified government for approval: “Even pending the unified government’s approval of the plan to action, Victory Hills is working directly with those residents whose units are affected to ensure they are accommodated while Victory Hills performs the pest control treatments necessary to eradicate the bed bugs.”