Sydney seniors fed up with apartment building told odour, rodent issues to be fixed

A group of seniors in Sydney, N.S., has been promised that issues with odours and rodents in their government-run apartment building will be addressed in the next few weeks.

The building at 22 Tillock Drive is managed by the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority.

In September, a group of 20 residents complained about rodents and strong smells from old carpets. Several said mice were showing up in their beds and even their toasters.

Staff met with them on a couple of occasions. Last Friday, they met with Sydney-Whitney Pier MLA Derek Mombourquette.

Resident Joe Dithurbide said they told their MLA the problems are continuing.

The seniors complex at 22 Tillock Drive is managed by the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority. (George Mortimer/CBC)

“The smell’s been very bad, it’s just a stinky smell,” said Dithurbide.

As for the mice, he said they made their presence known as recently as a week ago.

“My TV shut down completely,” said Dithurbide. “I called people, they were good enough to come in, they went out in the hallway and mice ate my wire, the TV wire, so the mice are still here.”

The residents said they are also concerned about a first-floor emergency exit door that’s been blocked by snow at times.

Mombourquette said a tender has already gone out for the carpet replacement and he expects the work will begin in early January.

He said a pest control company has also been called in and the emergency exit will be checked.

“There was a list that I took from the meeting, so any request that comes through, we ensure that it gets to housing,” said Mombourquette.

‘I’ll believe it when I see it’

In an email to CBC News, Housing Nova Scotia, which oversees the provincial housing authorities, said staff have met with each tenant individually to discuss their concerns.

Dithurbide said although he appreciates the promise of help, he’s not yet counting on anything.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said.

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