Leaky pipes, trash strewn about, an alleged rat infestation and a collapsed ceiling. These are just some of the unbearable conditions neighbors are describing at the HUD-subsidized Legion Woods housing complex in New Haven.
One tenant, who was too embarrassed to be identified, told us rodents have taken over the stove in her unit. “I catch at least three mice every other day,” she said.
The mother of two gave us cell phone video showing a hole in her bathroom ceiling. She claimed a leak in July caused it to collapsed on top of her 6-year-old son.
“I hear him screaming. I jump up,” the woman said. The boy suffered severe injuries, according to her. “He fractured his should, his collar bone.”
News 8 checked with city housing inspectors and found a history of and failed inspections ranging from faulty electrical outlets to no heat. Housing inspectors told us the property is run by Abacus Property Management, a company owned by Matthew Harp, who happens to be the son of Mayor Toni Harp.
Matthew Harp disputed slumlord accusations by some of his tenants. He told me by phone a professional pest company does routine maintenance at the property. Efforts to reach the pest company were unsuccessful.
He also told us efforts to repair the ceiling in the tenant’s unit have failed because she changed the locks and refused to allow workers inside. He provided News 8 a letter Abacus sent to the woman that he says proves her actions prevented repairs from being done. Matthew Harp declined to comment further citing pending litigation.
As for whether the tenant in this story plans to continue living in Legion Woods, “I definitely have plans to move, definitely,” she said. “I definitely don’t want to live here.”
Web Extra: Read the letter sent from the property manager to the resident back in August
(note: the name and address of the resident has been erased in this version to protect the privacy of the tenant)