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What the RRHA is doing to help pregnant mom living with rodent infestation

RICHMOND, Va. -- Images of mice and rats in her Whitcomb Court apartment are etched into Brittany Duncan’s mind. She contacted CBS 6 Problem Solvers, saying her apartment had been overrun with rodents for months.

"My son now can’t sleep because he’s so scared. He comes into my room crying because he hears the mouse squeaking. It’s horrible,” she said last week.

“That’s my main concern. My kids and I’m about to bring a newborn baby,” she added.

RRHA spokesperson Orlando Artze says they consistently responded to Duncan’s calls and sent workers seven times in recent days to lay traps and seal holes in the apartment.

Brittany Duncan

Duncan says it isn’t enough.

“If I’m paying rent, then I expect them to provide a healthy clean environment,” said Duncan. “I don`t feel like I’m the only one dealing with it but I feel like I’m the only one reaching out about it.”

Her CBS 6 Problem Solvers story drew the attention of Congressman Donald McEachin.

“He understands my frustration pretty well. I feel like he’s upset about the situation too,” Duncan said Tuesday.

Congressman McEachin sent a letter to the RRHA requesting information about how big the problem is and how the agency planned to resolve it.

“As you are well aware, rats and mice can not only be discomforting and frightening but can also be carriers of serious diseases. This is not only a dangerous situation but a health and safety hazard for the small child and his pregnant mother,” McEachin wrote.

Orlando Artze

McEachin says he hopes to hear what the RRHA is doing to fix the issue in Duncan’s apartment, and all apartments will similar issues.

Artze spoke with CBS 6 reporter Shelby Brown Tuesday and gave an update on their progress fixing the infestation.

“I got a report about an hour ago that shows as of today we have a total of 29 open cases with issues around mice or roach infestation. So, we are responding to those complaints,” said Artze.

He said seven of the cases are in Whitcomb Court, where Duncan lives, 10 are in Fairfield Court, three in Creighton, and the remaining nine are in smaller RRHA properties.

“It’s important to understand that we have almost 4,000 apartments and to have 29 affected. I think it is an indication of how well we respond to the problem and how proactive we are about mice and infestation issues,” he added.

Artze says they will relocate Duncan and her kids to a vacant apartment in the same complex at no cost to her. He says that relocation will take place this Friday.

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