Congressman calls for RRHA remedy to rat infestation highlighted in CBS 6 report

Posted at 2:31 PM, Dec 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-03 14:36:42-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Congressman Donald McEachin is calling on the Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority (RRHA) to provide “safe and clean” apartments in light of a recent CBS 6 Problem Solvers story highlighting a rat infestation at an RRHA-owned apartment in Whitcomb Court.

In a letter to the RRHA, McEachin requested more information and a remedy to the rodent infestation.

A pregnant young mother named Brittany Duncan recently reached out to CBS 6 Problem Solvers and expressed health and safety concerns about a rat infestation in her apartment.

"My son now can’t sleep because he’s so scared. He comes into my room crying because he hears the mouse squeaking. It’s horrible,” she told reporter Shelby Brown.

“I was disappointed and very concerned to see the enclosed CBS 6 news stories about the young family in Whitcomb Court, a Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) property, suffering a rodent infestation,” McEachin wrote. “As you are well aware, rats and mice can not only be discomforting and frightening but can also be carriers of serious diseases. This is not only a dangerous situation but a health and safety hazard for the small child and his pregnant mother.”

Brittany Duncan

Duncan said she reached out to the RRHA repeatedly but wasn’t satisfied with their response. McEachin says he was “disturbed” that Duncan had to repeatedly call whenever they saw a rodent in their apartment.

“Rather than attempting to resolve each episode, RRHA needs a systematic plan to eradicate these pests that does not depend on a frightened child alerting his mother to an invader in his bedroom,” McEachin continued.

Following the CBS 6 report, officials with the RRHA said they were working to fix Duncan’s rat infestation due to the health and safety issue.

RRHA spokesperson Orlando Artze said crews laid down more sticky traps and patched up two holes on Friday that mice may be using to access the apartment. Additionally, Artze said that if the vermin problem continued over the weekend, they will look to relocate Duncan to another apartment within that complex.

McEachin says he hopes to hear what the RRHA is doing to fix the issue in Duncan’s apartment, and all apartments will similar issues.

“This very concerning condition must be addressed completely, efficiently, and expeditiously,” McEachin wrote. “I also hope that the rest of the complex will be thoroughly checked. In my experience, rarely is an infestation limited to one residence.”

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