Residents of Ted Kuhn Tower in North Surrey have endured bedbugs for at least the last three years.

Bedbugs infest Ted Kuhn Tower

Mayor said problem needs to be "rectified immediately" by BC Housing

It was 1989, when John Sanford, an aerial fire boss, was attacking a fire by helicopter near Lac La Biche, about 130 kilometers east of Edmonton.

The chopper went down, crashing in the remote area, leaving Sanford with crushed bones throughout one side of his body.

He was also left with the trauma that comes with such accidents and remains on disability.

Now unemployed and living in Ted Kuhn Towers at 102 Avenue and Old Yale Road and has a much more immediate fire to put out.

Bedbugs.

The bloodsucking parasites have infested the building for more than three years.

They come out at night, and feast on Sanford’s body. The B.C. Housing complex for low-income people is crawling with the bugs.

B.C. Housing has sprayed multiple times, but the parasites keep coming back.

Officials with B.C. Housing say that to rid the building of bedbugs, the spraying has to be executed throughout the tower. Some residents aren’t preparing their rooms properly, and spraying is incomplete.

The bugs just come back.

So at night, Sanford and the rest of the residents at Ted Kuhn crawl into bed knowing they will be feasted upon by the bugs.

The red welts on their bodies in the morning serve as proof.

Sanford said part of the problem is Surrey doesn’t have a Standards of Maintenance Bylaw similar to the ones in other Lower Mainland cities.

Mayor Dianne Watts said the city is working to develop such a bylaw.

“We’re looking at what other communities are doing, and our Social Planning Committee has undertaken that task,” Watts said.

First and foremost, she said, the tenants need to be looked after.

“But we want to make sure B.C. Housing doesn’t shirk their duties and not be responsible for their properties either,” Watts said. “It’s totally unacceptable, and it should be rectified immediately.”

Whatever pressure the city can apply, it will, she said.

Calls to B.C. Housing were referred to the housing ministry, which responded by email that it is doing whatever it can to rectify the problem.

“The appearance of bedbugs is becoming more common in private and public sector housing developments across North America, and we have developed a thorough and rigorous bedbug eradication program to address the issue,” the ministry spokesperson said in the email response. “We urge all tenants to follow the instructions and directions they are given so the problem can be eliminated. However like any landlord we cannot force tenants to comply with directions that will help prevent further recurrences of the problem.”

So, while the tenants point to the city and the city directs blame at B.C. Housing, which says the tenants are responsible, Sanford readies himself for another night being ravaged by parasites.

@diakiw

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

33-storey highrise proposal coming to Surrey council, first of three phases

Second and third phases include 36-storey and 31-storey towers

Surrey city council moving to virtual meetings

For public hearings, people can register to speak via telephone

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

APRIL 4: Two people in Delta fined for trying to re-sell N95 masks

Man injured in reported stabbing near Surrey SkyTrain station

Incident happened around 9 p.m. Friday night

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Most Read