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Cahokia Heights problem property has residents dealing with black mold, rats and sitting water

By Jenna Rae

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    CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Illinois (KMOV) — Black mold, leaking ceilings, even dead rats coming up from the drains. These are real issues at apartments in the Metro East.

It’s problems News 4 has been tracking for years at Greystone Apartments off Interstate 255 and Missouri Avenue. Residents are calling on us again to get some real action.

“When I turn the water on, it leaks behind the wall, like it comes from behind here,” Hayli Sellers said.

Sellers let News 4 into her Greystone Apartment Tuesday. She showed us clogged bathtubs, mold and sitting water from clogged drains. Her family has lived at the apartments since 2019.

“They still haven’t fixed it,” Samella Whitt explained.

Whitt’s experiencing similar problems. She’s lived at the property since 2015. Greystone Apartments are funded by our tax dollars through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Sellers said she’s had black mold on walls for years. Just this week, she said apartment maintenance workers came to “fix” it.

“She said they were gonna cut the mold out, and then they was gonna treat the wood the same day, but nobody’s come back. This the first time they came since 2019 for the mold,” Sellers said.

Mold isn’t the only issue. Residents’ photos show what looks like a dead rat coming up from the bathtub’s drain after hours of water being clogged and Sellers trying to plunge it clear. Sellers said she’s been complaining to property management since she moved in three years ago. Whitt’s complained since October 2020. Both residents and others News 4 talked to say their biggest concern is mold. Sellers has five kids, while Whitt has serious health problems.

“I’m asthmatic and I also have COPD, very severe. I don’t want to wind up in my apartment dead just because something like this could have been prevented and could have been fixed,” Whitt said.

In March 2020, News 4 told you about Greystone Apartments after the City of Alorton, now Cahokia Heights, took action on the bad conditions. Two years later and we’re back. We tried talking with property owners on site and got no response. We even called the manager’s cell phone and were sent to voicemail.

Residents said they’re often left hanging by the management. At a loss, they’ve come back to News 4 again to try and get action.

“Kind of makes you feel like less of a person, maybe because we live in housing and should accept what we have and we’re not important,” Sellers said.

Residents explained they don’t have other options or places to go.

“It hurts. I have to choose staying here versus my life. It hurts, and when you don’t have nowhere to go what can you do? What can you do? All I’ve been asking for the last few years is to get this taken care of,” Whitt said.

Since Alorton recently got merged into Cahokia Heights, we reached out to Cahokia Heights’ Code Enforcement Division. We spoke with someone there briefly about previous citations regarding Greystone Apartments. That person told us she wasn’t aware of any and would get back to us. We’ll continue following up.

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