City wants troubled public housing complex shut down

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NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Just a few days ago News 8 toured the Thames River Apartments. The problems seen in those units are also seen in Christina Texidor’s apartment.

Her pantry is full of mouse droppings often a tell tale sign of trouble.

“Have no food on my shelf because they have eaten through it,” says Texidor. She can also hear mice in her bathroom walls.new london housing tenant relocation 1 City wants troubled public housing complex shut down

“If I literally punched the wall a mouse would probably come through.”

Rodents, cockroaches, and mold are just some of the reasons the city and the New London Housing Authority Commission are now working to get these tenants a new place to live.

new london housing tenant relocation 2 City wants troubled public housing complex shut down“The children that are there should not live in these conditions because it’s basically surviving not living so it’s time to take some action,” says Betsy Gibson, Chairperson, New London Housing Authority Commission.

The commission will vote next week on whether or not it will shut down the 50 year old public housing.

We asked Mayor Michael Passero if there is enough housing in the city to accommodate all the tenants. “We’re trying to get a handle on that,” he says. “It does not have to necessarily be in this city.”

The city is working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development which would provide emergency vouchers for the move.

“There’s a chart that they use and they won’t have to pay anymore out of their pocket,” says Gibson.new london housing tenant relocation 3 City wants troubled public housing complex shut down

Relocating the 124 families could take six months but that may be better than having to do it in a few days if a portable boiler which now heats the high rises broke down.

“No hot water. You have to get up early in the morning to take your hot bath or late at night,” says resident Lorelei Stanley.

The plan is two fold. Get residents out of these conditions now and then get more low income housing units built in New London like those proposed at the former Edgerton School.

“We can’t leave the residents at Thames River for three to four years,” says Gibson.

If more public housing is built in the city Gibson says the Thames River tenants will be among the first considered to move in there.

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