Submitted by jerleen1 on Tue, 06/29/2010 - 23:02.

 For more than a year citizens residing at the Scranton Castle CMHA Complex have complained to CMHA representatives and building management about the on-going infestitation of cockroaches and bed bugs.

One resident stated that her daughter had to receive medical treatment and medication for the bug bites.  Another stated that no one was taking the situation seriously.  That administration and management left each day at 5 O'clock whereas paying tenants had to suffer through the all night bitting ordeals. 

Before a crowd of fifty (50) plus angry and frustrated tenants, CMHA North West AMP Leader Ms. Martin stated that they were working on it.  She stated that in the last four months two investigations had been conducted to determine the extent of the problem.  One elderly tenant stated that whatever they were using, "the dam roaches were drinking the shit."  That while they were investigating, the cockroaches were educating themselves.

Old Tremont Block Club Co-Chair Lena Jackson raised from her wheelchair and with the assistance of a cane walked out into the center of the conference room and said it was about dam time they get some relief, that enough was enough and time had run out for CMHA.  "It's time to do some house cleaning," she said.  She continued her tongue lashing by saying that "it's pretty bad when the cockroaches can out run you to the elevator."

Ms. Martin's claim that spraying was done upon request, was rebuked by growling rent payers saying that doing one apartment at a time in the high rise just wasn't cutting it. 

While the district supervisor from the city health dept. was present and attempted to provide a passive approach, many of the block club members got up and walked out.  Co-Chair Jackson closed the meeting with a few resolves  of her own for solving the problem.  1 - everybody stop paying rent and place their money in escrow; 2.  demand that they be put up in a decent hotel until the building could be funagated; 3.  find some help for the residents who were not able to do their own cleaning; 4.  shut the dam building down.

Even though it was the Old Tremont Block Club's regular meeting night, the members were a bit dismayed and baffled,  for even with a huge turn out of  more than fifty in attendance, there was no representation or staff community organizer from Tremont West Development Corp. nor did Councilman Cummins make an appearance. 

It was noted by several members/attendees that since they were within the service area boundries of TWDC and had not been receiving equal representation from the community organization, that perhaps there should be some accountability for CDBG funds allocated for Ward 14. 



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Jeff - this is the message for photo

Hi Jeff.

I don't know how the photos get separated from the stories.  If you don't find it, let me know. 


Up-date on the Scranton Castle bed bug and roach infestitation.

Today, community activist - Old Tremont Block Club Co-Chair Lena Jackson received an eviction notice from CMHA Property Manager Anna Carabella.  This eviction cmes on the heels of Ms. Jackson and other handing out final warnings that the Scranton Castle get some treatment for the bug problems or else.

This also follows a letter iI sent on behalf of the CMHA residents to appropriate departments and the news media.  Channel 5 Joe Pakanakis will be interviewing the residents of Scranton Castle this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.  

Lena states that the eviction notice stated that she did not comply with the exterminating procedure scheduled for yesterday.  She does also state that the notice sent out stated that an "inspection" would be conducted and nothing about the exterminator paying a visit.

There have also been rumors that certain community leaders are planning on pulling the Old Tremont Block Club meeting place from the Scranton Castle and setting it up elsewhere.  The meetings have been held at that location for years and it would be a great disadvantage to the many handicapped residents  if they were to be forced to  brave the elements (winter and summer) when they have a perfectly good spacious (plenty chairs and tables) conference room to meet each month. 

Everyone is more than welcome to attend the block club meetings and are treated with respect and courtesy. 


What no one seems to know is that these handicapped rent payers are expected to move and lift heavy furniture and belongings out in the middle of the floor and/or the hallways with no assistance.  Some have even had to pay out of their meager funds to have someone put the furniture back inside, otherwise, she would have had to leave it out there.

These handicapped and physically disabled members of the community are at the mercy of management/employees and community assistance.

good job, Jerleen

Keep up the hard work.  The residents of Scranton Castle are fortunate to have you on their side.

CMHA evicts handicapped residents?

 because they can not move around furnishings and other items? Is this a joke? 

What a mixed bag of problems: bed bugs, roaches, a councilman that shows for what he wants and not for what he doesn't, and hints of discrimination in the use of public funds.

It would be interesting to see how this would play out in Housing Court. CMHA was forced to exterminate for bedbugs at Scranton Castle late last fall. Residents had implored, begged, and screamed for help on this issue, and CMHA finally sent out exterminators. I hope that the residents do put their rent into escrow, and force this forward. 

Lena is a smart woman, and the notice about the inspection vs. extermination will carry the day. The residents have been so stonewalled for so long by CMHA that even extermination dates may be meaningless.


I spoke to Lena after the TV

I spoke to Lena after the TV crew left and she thought it went ok.  Mr. Phillips-Oliver was present and assured her that there would be no eviction against her. 

She stated that Mr. Oliver voiced his "new" plans that would be put into action.  Lena wanted to know what happened to the last plans he made? 

Lena was also disturbed that a rumor was floating around that property management sent someone around advising the Hispanic residents not to appear for the TV broadcast and....not a one showed.

The eviction notice was clearly an intimidation tactic to scare other residents.

intimidation at Scranton Castle

 It sounds like there needs to be some education of residents as to their rights as tenants. 

Cleveland Tenants Organization is a good resource for people who wish to know how to proceed with infestations and the rules and responsibilities, as well as rent escrow. Cleveland Housing Court also has housing specialists that can provide good information on rights and how the court process works.

Given the number of residents, the varying levels of handicapped, and the access to a spacious meeting room, representatives from CTO and Housing Court might be willing to come out and talk to a group of people. Bi-lingual staff are a plus in this situation, and bilingual invitations to residents are a must. There is absolutely no reason that management be present, and might actually be detrimental as it might deter from the efforts for people to get to know what their rights and responsibilities are as residents. Once people are educated as to their rights and responsibilities, then they are on a more equal footing to set down with management and hash out a plan to eradicate the pests or go to court.

Screw the old boy tactics and out organize then by learning what is what.

We discussed having a rep

We discussed having a rep from the Tenants Organization come to the next block club meeting later this month and speak to the group as well as hand out pamplets on Tenant's Rights.   

I'd just like to know how these citizens dropped off of everybody's radar? 

Scranton Castle--Councilman Cummins

  There have also been rumors that certain community leaders are planning on pulling the Old Tremont Block Club meeting place from the Scranton Castle and setting it up elsewhere.  The meetings have been held at that location for years and it would be a great disadvantage to the many handicapped residents  if they were to be forced to  brave the elements (winter and summer) when they have a perfectly good spacious (plenty chairs and tables) conference room to meet each month.

Thank you Jerleen for reporting and keeping the heat on the management of Scranton Castle.  This falls in Ward 14--Councilman Cummins. 

What has been the response from his office? Silence?

I especially am concerned because we will have a new senior facility on Denison, soon.  It is being billed as assisted living. (I have written extensively on my environmental concerns about the site chosen for the Denison Housing project--I need help here to organize these posts into a book).

I am sorry Councilman Cummins--but, responding and resolving resident issues is a big part of your job description and this situation needs resolution.  

Meanwhile, Brooklyn Centre is getting a similar complex with the Denison Senior housing.  With shifting ward alliances, will these senior residents be forgotten, too?  Denison Senior Housing is now in Councilman Cimperman's ward.

elderly issues

 good points lmcshane - shifting ward boundaries.  

interesting to note that 20 years ago these senior high-rises were a must win for local council reps because the seniors are voters.  they were never forgotten back then.    wonder what the demographic shifts are vis a vis ward boundary changes  that has now rendered this once politically necessary population forgotten.

and YES to the Cleveland Tenants Organization - good idea!






There are serious points to

There are serious points to ponder here.  What is preplexing about these members of our society is that they are still voters and still have a say in what happens to them. 

What is also troublesome is that this is just one low income housing complex.  How many others provide homes to "the forgotten?"

Even the homeless people are citizens with voting rights - yet, they want to run them from our midst. 

Think about it, with all the low-income, senior, handicapped and homeless votes - that could be quite a rally in electing our next leaders.

Bedbugs at Scranton Castle????

BEDBUGS AT SCRANTON CASTLE???? See this PD article about it....

Yes, bedbugs

and it is a long standing problem at the Scranton Castle, and increasing in alarming rates in Cleveland.

I don't have much sympathy

I don't have much sympathy for CMHA reps.  First of all, it depends on how many buildings, units, etc., that is divided into 3-4 hundred thousand bucks.  They could have easily spent most of the money on a couple of buildings and given Scranton Castle residents the scraps.

When you have a building like that, you take agressive action and keep it up until the problem is taken care of - and then take preventive measures so that it does not re-occur. 

Bed Bugs can take up habitation in the cleanest house in town and they spread very quickly.  Just spraying or exterminating every three months does not work.  By the time they get back for the next treatment the little bitters have multiplied 10 times over and moved in on ten more tenants. 

When the residents are low income and handicapped  they're in an impossible siituation and have to put up with bitting bugs to boot.


I think they should move the residents to a nice clean hotel and move the CMHA reps and property manager into the buggiest apartment and force them to live there until the building is bug free and the mess cleaned up.