HOUSTON — The City of Houston is targeting an apartment complex where residents have complained about rats, roaches, trash and mold.
The City is giving the owners and management of the Timber Ridge apartments 30 days to clean up their act -- or else.
"The situation people are living in right now is deplorable, and none of us would want to live there," Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a news conference Friday.
Turner announced a new strike force to crack down on complexes with unhealthy and unsafe living conditions. He said if those apartment managers fail to fix things in a month, the city will sue.
"That 30 days goes out the window and we'll go straight to the courthouse," Turner said at a news conference Friday.
Jessica Henderson pays $1,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment at Timber Ridge only to, “live like animals,” among rodents and under a leaking ceiling.
“It’s nasty outside. It’s nasty inside,” Henderson said. “Mold everywhere. Rats everywhere.”
“In one night, in one night I caught 10 rats. That’s too many rats," Henderson said.
Nakia Polk lives in the complex with her two children. She was cooking while we interviewed her, and a roach got into the pot of food when she looked away. Others were spotted crawling across the stovetop and near her foot.
Residents went to this week's City Council meeting to complain, and they got the mayor's attention.
"If you do not take care of your property, to avoid people living in substandard, unhealthy conditions, you know, we will be coming after you," Mayor Turner said.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said HPD's Apartment Enforcement Unit will go after apartment managers and owners who don't comply.
"When people pay their rent in the city of Houston, everybody has a right to live in a respectful residence or apartment," Finner said.
A representative with the Solid Waste Department said Timber Ridge manager has already hired a contractor to take care of some issues.
City leaders warn other complexes in Houston that aren't up to snuff that they need to get their act together too.
Residents with complaints about living conditions at their complexes should call 311 or contact their City Council representative.
Learn more about the apartment inspections being done by the City of Houston here.
For more information on what state law requires for the process of requesting repairs to an apartment unit, click here.