Renters Frustrated with Unsanitary and Fearful Living Conditions in West-Side Apartment Complex

Residents of Bear Creek Apartments on General McMullen in San Antonio are expressing their concerns about the deteriorating living conditions in their complex. Tenants have reported issues such as mice infestations and mold, raising serious health and safety concerns. The situation has prompted city inspectors to visit the complex multiple times in the past year.

During a recent tour of the apartments, KENS 5 witnessed mice droppings accumulating on windowsills and in corners, while cockroaches scurried along the walls and gathered in traps. The residents have been receiving code enforcement slips, highlighting the severity of the situation. The Texas Organizing Project (TOP) has expressed its worry, with Sofia Lopez, the housing justice director, emphasizing the inadequate living conditions faced by families, particularly those with children.

Fearing potential retaliation, tenants have chosen to remain anonymous. One mother shared her distressing experience of living with mice and cockroaches, making it difficult to store food safely. She revealed that mice even find their way into her children’s clothing, forcing her to keep laundry in plastic bags to maintain cleanliness. The situation escalated when the family set up mice traps, resulting in the capture of seven dead mice in a single day. The mother expressed concern that the mice might bite her children, potentially leading to child protective services opening an investigation.

Another family disclosed that a mouse had chewed through their son’s backpack and homework. They are unable to utilize their oven due to the presence of mice, and as a result, their oldest son has developed rashes. Tragically, the family does not have health insurance, further complicating their ability to address the health issues caused by the living conditions.

Additionally, mold was found on the walls and cupboards of one tenant’s apartment, further exacerbating the health risks. Another resident complained about the constant sound of gunfire in the vicinity, highlighting the lack of security measures on the premises.

These tenants, paying over $1,000 per month, have expressed their frustration with the unresponsive property manager and the worsening living conditions. The property is owned by Bear Creek OTM Harmony LP, a New Jersey-based company, and managed by The Michaels Organization. KENS 5 reached out to both entities for comment but has not received a response.

Sofia Lopez stressed the need for accountability from various parties involved, including the property owner, the City of San Antonio, the State of Texas, and the federal government. She believes that tenants are unfairly bearing the consequences of the deteriorating housing situation. While she hopes that new housing developments will provide more options for desperate tenants, she urges the city to improve the existing housing as well. Lopez called for increased investment and better tools to ensure that hardworking families receive the quality housing they deserve. Additionally, she emphasized the importance of relocation assistance, as finding a new place without similar issues can be challenging and often requires upfront costs that many families struggle to afford.

City Councilwoman Teri Castillo, who represents the district, has been contacted for a response but has not yet provided a statement. The residents of Bear Creek Apartments hope that their concerns will be addressed promptly to improve their living conditions and ensure their health and safety.

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