Homestead Land Holdings is said to have had a significant number of cockroach infestations over the years, but recently it has gotten worse for residents and has become unmanageable for many.

Several residents of Homestead buildings in Kingston have publicly complained about dire conditions that the company does not want to properly address.

Some residents choose to live in a tent or surf on the couch instead of suffering from the poor condition of their apartment even after paying the rent on the apartment.

“I’ve been in this homestead apartment for 3 months, I’ve had 2 bacterial infections and now I’ve just found a second cockroach in the ear of my life,” one resident wrote publicly on social media this week.

Another resident who wanted to remain anonymous moved into the Mayfair building in May.

After a couple of weeks, she noticed cockroaches in her home and said she would see about fifteen a day in her home and others in common areas through the end of June.

She said she brought it up with Parkway property manager Isaac Jones, who insisted the problem is a problem for any unit due to the lifestyle of these tenants.

She says that after several unsuccessful, arbitrary attempts to treat the problem, she had to end up couch surfing.

This not only affects their physical and mental health, but also their financial well-being.

“I bought all this food at home and now I’m just throwing it away. I feed my child to take away every night because I can’t cook,” said the resident.

For this month, she says, she paid Homestead more than $ 1,100 for an apartment she doesn’t even live in, just so she can maintain a good standing with the company.

She feels that the pest problem has robbed her and her three-year-old child of having a home.

“I finally had a place to myself. I’ve been through a lot over the last couple of years and we finally got a place that was ours and everything was fine … and then the cockroaches, “she said.

The story goes on

She added that Homestead has been dishonest about the issues in their buildings and she hopes residents will continue to voice their opinions on these issues so that the company will be forced to stop lying to potential tenants.

The problem doesn’t just affect the Mayfair building, however, as residents of at least three other Homestead properties have made similar complaints about cockroaches, bed bugs and fleas.

Vi Maclean, who also lives in a Homestead Parkway building, moved her family to save some money on rent.

Due to COVID, they were unable to properly inspect the site and were nonchalantly advised by the building manager that there were cockroaches in the building but it was isolated on an apartment and was being treated.

The next morning she and her husband woke up covered in flea bites.

McLean says she has no pets and had never had problems with fleas or bed bugs in the previous apartment, but Homestead’s facility manager insisted that they brought the pests with them.

She says the pest problem doesn’t allow her family to feel at home.

“Coming here and having bed bugs and fleas and cockroaches … was awful,” said McLean.

“We couldn’t unpack anything, things in boxes are still in boxes. We can’t really live in our house and we have to tell our three year old, ‘You can’t play on the floor, there are insects.’ “

McLean says she and her family sleep on an inflatable mattress in the living room while they cannot use their bed and have already had to throw away a couch.

Homestead continues to tell residents that it is a unit-to-unit issue, but cockroaches are constantly found in public areas and residents who have lived there for years say it has been a problem for ages.

“If that was years ago [infestations] Then they don’t do what they can to treat it, they just sweep it under the rug. “

McLean says the city was contacted and investigated the building, and eventually on Homestead’s side, that everything was fine.

This makes no sense to McLean, who is clearly saying that there is still a problem and that Homestead will blame everyone from the tenants in the building to U-Haul for not cleaning their trucks properly instead of the Fight infestation properly.

McLean has since gotten together with other frustrated Homestead residents and started a petition. She hopes to bring a class action lawsuit.

These complaints at Homestead come at a time when complaints about cockroaches are highest in decades, according to Orkin Canada. The demand for cockroaches doubled between 2017 and 2020 and has increased by at least 38% this year.

According to Orkin Canada, the increase in infestation is partly due to cockroaches becoming resistant to certain insecticides over the years.

YGK News reached out to Homestead Land Holdings for comment but did not receive a timely response for publication.

Residents can report problems with property standards by contacting the City of Kingston Bylaw Enforcement.

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Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Reporter, YGK News