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CMHA plugged her apartment leaks with rags and left. Then the bees moved in.

CMHA resident fights for a better apartment — one not infested with bees
Posted at 9:21 PM, Jul 08, 2021

CINCINNATI — A Northside resident had to put up a fight with the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority in order to get moved out of a nearly unlivable home.

WCPO first interviewed Cynthia Hill on June 2. On that date, a blue tarp covered the roof of the house where she lived to stop water from getting inside. She said CMHA workers put fans inside to dry the place out after heavy rains caused leaks.

“It was – I don’t even know what else to do,” she said. “I do not know what else to do.”

Hill had lived in the house for about a decade. From the outside, the property appeared to be sound, but the inside was plagued with leaks and water damage.

“Dribbles of rain coming down,” she said, describing the issues. “In my bathroom the rain is coming through the frame window.”

On the second floor, wet rags are being used to plug windows and ceiling tiles. There was damage to the ceiling in her bedroom. Hill said she called CMHA about the problems many times.

ceiling damage

A June repair call led to a temporary fix.

“The man left, as they do, so he called me on the phone 20 minutes later (and) said they have my permission to buy a mop, a bucket and some towels,” Hill said. “He came with the mop, a bucket and a bunch of rags.”

The third floor has an open hole to the outside, which allowed light and everything else to come in. Nearly all of the plaster was damaged. And a hive of bees also moved in.

Hill’s friend Tonya Candida said she’s seen the CMHA crews.

“They show up, but they don’t complete it.”

A printout Hill said she got from the CMHA had line items that reference rain coming in to her house, leaking ceilings and exterminations. It also said the urgent and emergency work was completed.

“I don’t even know what to say no more,” she said.

In a follow-up email on July 6 — nearly a month after WCPO first spoke to Hill — a CMHA spokesperson said: "CMHA takes the health and safety of tenants seriously and we are investigating why a report says the work was completed when it is not."

Then, on July 8, CMHA said there was a communication gap, but no negligence. Late last month, Hill was given a hotel room to stay in with a per-diem and now she is being placed in a new unit.

She said she’s happy about a new place to live but still feels exhausted from her fight with CMHA.

“Look at what I’ve had to go through to get here," she said.