Residents of a Mountain View apartment building are calling for action, saying their homes have serious health concerns – including cockroach and bed bug infestations – that have not been taken care of, years later.
At a rally Monday, residents said they have been asking the property owner of 291 S 39th Street for years to do something about several problems, but have seen little change. Mold in bathrooms, holes under sinks and electrical issues throughout the home, on top of numerous other issues, were cited by tenants as prominent problems.
Irving Santos has been living at 291 S 39th Street for three years and his family has been in the building for seven years.
"There's rats, there's cockroaches, there's ants, I mean it's ridiculous,” Irving said. His family says their upstairs floor is sinking and their electricity is not working either, to begin with. The living conditions have become a serious issue for Irving’s brother.
"Irving has a brother who is in a vegetable state who has been living in a room where wood is coming out of the floor, and molding is up the wall which has caused respiratory issues for his brother,” said Shane, another resident.
The Santos Family pays $1,175 in rent, so saving money for a deposit on a new home is not an option. A lawyer is now involved, but these residents are hoping the city and county can put more code compliance officers out there to help other tenants in their situation.
A City of San Diego Code Compliance officer stopped by the residence to inspect the premises days within five days of the filing of a complaint, and a follow-up is expected in the coming days.
However, organizations like National Action Network and the East County Coalition say issues like this are happening frequently across all parts of the County.
"We have rat infestations that go unaddressed, we have mold infestations that go unaddressed, we have cockroach and bed bug infestations that go unaddressed, complete uninhabitable condition that landlords have card blanched,” said George Ibarra, President of the East County Coalition. “Nowadays, they do absolutely nothing about it, and all they do is collect the monthly rent."
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has put more funding towards compliance officers, but Ibarra worries more needs to be done..
"I want to be able to live right and comfortable in my house. That's why I pay rent,” Irving said.
NBC7 reached out to the property owner multiple times throughout the day, including via calls and text messages, and has not heard back. We will update this story when we hear back from the property owner.