AHS investigating cockroach infestation at Calgary Housing Company apartment building

Alberta Health Services has been called in to investigate a cockroach infestation at an apartment complex owned by the Calgary Housing Company.

Several residents in the 220-unit apartment building in Bridgeland have been dealing with the infestation for nearly a year.

According to AHS, the Environmental Public Health department had received multiple complaints in February and March 2019, with an additional complaint last week.

The most recent one came from Chris McKenzie, a resident in the building who previously raised awareness of the infestation to Global News.

READ MORE: ‘Nobody wants to live like this’: Father plagued by cockroach infestation at Calgary Housing complex

“Hopefully, with Alberta Health Services stepping in, they are going to throw a hammer down and say, ‘Fix it,’” McKenzie said Monday.

McKenzie moved into the apartment in July 2019 with his twin four-year-old daughters but began to notice cockroaches in October.

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According to McKenzie, there are cockroaches in every area of the apartment from the living room to the bathroom and even his daughters’ room.

Earlier this month, CHC told Global News that the organization was aware of the cockroach infestation and provided information to residents to help prevent the spread. The company hired a contractor to fumigate the affected units weekly but the cockroaches keep coming back.

On Monday, McKenzie spent the day packing belongings in boxes ahead of the weekly fumigation.

“We’ve thrown out a lot more of our things,” McKenzie said. “A little bit of resolve is coming but it’s not coming from the source that we need the resolve to come from.”

According to the AHS report on McKenzie’s apartment obtained by Global News, health inspectors discovered live and dead cockroaches throughout the unit, including in the kitchen, living room and bedrooms.

The AHS report determined the complex is not in compliance and the infestation is critical.

“AHS Public Health Inspectors have instructed Calgary Housing to continue having pest control treat all affected areas and monitor for treatment success in all units where cockroaches were identified,” AHS said in a statement to Global News.

“AHS [Environmental Public Health] will continue to work with Calgary Housing to make sure the problem is taken care of appropriately.”

READ MORE: Calgary woman moves into apartment with cockroaches, claims no warning from management

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McKenzie has submitted a request to transfer to a different building managed by CHC but has not received a response.

But if there isn’t a solution to the cockroach infestation soon, McKenzie said he and his daughters will most likely try to return to the commercial market to find a home.

“It’s just been a waiting game,” McKenzie said. “If we haven’t gotten a solid answer, then I think we have to [move out] and financially, it’s hard.”

According to AHS, there are plans for additional education on cockroaches for both landlords and tenants in the complex. AHS will also be conducting a full building inspection in March to help determine the full extent of the infestation as well as guide the next steps in finding a solution.

Global News reached out to CHC for comment but did not receive a response.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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