Deplorable conditions’ at housing complex
Repeated complaints about “deplorable conditions”, including rats, at an East End emergency housing complex have been ignored, a resident has claimed.
The woman said that problems she had highlighted at government-run Gulfstream, in St David’s, had not been tackled by the Bermuda Housing Corporation, which runs the site.
She added: “They don’t care about us — and they don’t care about that building.
“We have a host of health and safety issues.”
The woman, who asked not to be named, said that she had found dead rats in traps in the communal kitchens.
She added: “The reason why we have rats in the first place is not being addressed.”
The resident said that cleaning at the property was not up to standard.
She added: “Yes, we have a cleaner that comes there — but it’s been my understanding that he is only supposed to do the floors, and he does a great job with the floors.”
The woman said that the behaviour of some residents at Gulfstream was also to blame.
The resident added that she had to clean the stove top before she cooked.
She added: “If I don’t do that ... there’s roaches crawling over the stove.”
The woman, who moved into the building last year, said: “As soon as I got there, I just noticed plenty of things.
“Before I even moved into my room my toilet didn’t flush.”
The woman added that the broken toilet was an indication of the problems she and other residents had to face.
She said that, in addition to health risks, the building also had several safety problems.
The woman explained: “We have so called emergency exists that don’t lock.
“We have a lot of cameras that don’t work. I don’t feel safe in that building.”
The resident said that the staff responsible for Gulfstream, who operate out of a nearby house, should be moved into the property. She added: “They need to be in the building.”
The resident explained that security staff who guard the complex were not on site around the clock.
She said: “I understand it’s probably going to be costly to have them there 24 hours — but you can at least have the staff there.
“The staff can be there in the time that the security is not there.”
The resident added that she had at first reported problems to Gulfstream staff.
She said she later raised her concerns with officials at BHC and the Ministry of Public Works.
The woman added: “I have tried to give them an opportunity to address this and they have done nothing.
“These people don’t care. So because the top doesn’t care, how do you expect the residents to even give a damn?”
The BHC website said that Gulfstream was made up of 78 rooms and “currently houses 54 families from various backgrounds”.
It added: “The Gulfstream residents are appreciative of the opportunity and regular house meetings are held to listen to and allay concerns before they become problematic to society.
“Unfortunately, some clients have not been compliant with meeting requests to discuss issues and only react when given ultimatums of penalties for their errant behaviour.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works said this morning that the BHC had been “challenged recently with a number of families simply refusing to correct their disruptive behaviour — which is making it more difficult for those residents who actually follow the rules to enjoy the accommodations”.
He said that programmes were in place to provide assistance to residents on cleanliness, personal hygiene, housekeeping and money management.
The spokesman added: “Residents are responsible for their own accommodations and the BHC employs professional cleaners to clean the common areas — and this is done at least three days per week.”
He said that security staff and CCTV were also provided at Gulfstream.
The spokesman added: “The BHC remains committed to addressing any issues that are brought to their attention and has a zero-tolerance policy for those who chose not to abide by the rules.”
• UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comments received this morning.
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