Removed Screens Present Problems

Folks living in a Oak Hill Plaza, a government housing complex in East Texas are hot, in the literal and figurative manner. They say their window screens were taken off of their un-air conditioned apartments. Residents are tired of sharing their homes with unwanted guests. Air comes thru opened windows, along with everything else.

Resident Chelsia White said, "My kids wake up talking about, 'Mama, I got blisters on my arms, something bit me,' and they aren't doing nothing about it. I know we stay here, but at least make us feel like it is our home."

Instead residents feel insecure. White said, "We even got crack heads up here. We have to make sure we wake up to make sure they don't come through our windows."

Wednesday morning crews began installing the first of 800 screens. The maintenance supervisor told us he took the screens off so not to be penalized by HUD inspectors. Inspections were made around April. He said not all the apartments had screens which does present problems during HUD inspections. The remedy was to remove all the screens. He also said some residents actually steal the screens to sell as aluminum scrap.

Residents contend problems would go away if owners provided air conditioning without a $40 extra charge. Resident LaShawe Hicks said, "We have no central heat, no air. All of the other projects have air except this one"

Fans will help cool things down, but until all the screens are replaced there will be residents still hot under the collar.