Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at email@example.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
ENGLEWOOD. Colo. -- One week ago Contact7 exposed an Englewood apartment complex without heat and hot water in dozens of units. As the work continues to repair the boilers at the Golden Nugget apartments, our team has learned about even more issues with the complex.
“The first three years I didn’t have problems and then these past couple of years it just got out of control,” said Jennifer Hernandez.
Hernandez recently moved last month after living in the Golden Nugget apartments for five years. She said cockroaches and bed bugs began taking over inside her unit.
“They were just in the kitchen, they were everywhere, all over my food, my dishes,” said Hernandez. “I had to throw everything away because it was just covered in roach poop.”
Hernandez said when she brought the problems to management’s attention nothing was done for weeks, so she paid for an exterminator herself.
“By that point I spent almost $80 - $100 getting all of that under control,” said Hernandez.
She said the problem was fixed temporarily, but then the bugs returned and started taking a toll on her health as she cleaned.
“I used to have to wear a mask because of me getting sick and being pregnant, the smell would get me sick, the sprays,” said Hernandez.
Contact7 learned that bugs are not the only complaint in this complex. Another tenant sent us a picture of a mouse she caught on a sticky trap in her apartment just a few days ago.
Residents tell Contact7 that a dumpster sitting in the middle of the complex’s parking lot is known as the bed bug dumpster for people to throw out their mattresses and furniture infested with bugs. Residents also said they have seen people living in the apartments dig through the dumpster and bring items thrown away back into their units.
“Nobody should ever have to live like that, it’s just disgusting,” said Hernandez.
Contact7 brought these concerns to the Tri-County Health Authority who confirmed the reports and inspections of bugs and rodents. However, the department said they can’t do much because there are not proper ordinances to help enforce regulations for people living in section 8 housing.
The landlords of the Golden Nugget apartments tell Contact7 they began contracting on Aug. 22 to address the bed bug issue inside the apartment units. They said they are contracting work for crews to clean out 20 units at a time. The landlords said if the residents refuse the work, they are given a three-day notice and a fine to comply for the extermination work to be done.
Hernandez said she is afraid the problems will continue for the people still living there.
“It’s not ok. You are putting everybody’s health and those veterans living there and the older people and people being on oxygen, that’s really bad for people’s immune system and some of them can’t handle it,” said Hernandez.