Code enforcement takes on bed bug problem at Serenity Towers

Code enforcement takes on bed bug problem at Serenity Towers
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Code inspectors are cracking down on a possible bed bug infestation at Serenity Towers.

Serenity Towers is located on South Highland Street and owned by Global Ministries Foundation. GMF has come under scrutiny of late, even losing their HUD funding at two other apartment complexes.

Memphis City Code Enforcement officers received a complaint in January 2016 about bed bugs at Serenity Towers. The complex has several previous code violations involving bed bugs.

"Bed bugs are not good to live with because bed bugs bite you," resident Deborah Williams said.

Williams lives at Serenity Towers but said for months bed bugs have been crawling in her apartment.

"Well, it's not good to live with bugs. Especially when they can try to get rid of them. They been battling with the bed bugs for a while," Williams said.

Memphis Public Works said when they were first notified of the problem in January, they discovered Serenity Towers had a previous bed bug problem. That problem ended with code violations.

Layne Sacharin said she's had bed bugs since she started living at Serenity Towers six months ago. As a result, she doesn't even stay at the apartment.

"I really don't stay in my apartment. I haven't stayed in there in months because I can't sit down or anything because I'll get eaten up and have to go to the emergency room," Sacharin said.

The owners of Serenity Towers, Global Ministries Foundation, has been ordered to clean up two other crime-plagued complexes they own, the Warren Apartments in South Memphis and the Tulane Apartments in Whitehaven.

The residents said management is the issue and they need to take care of the property they own and the residents who live there.

"They need to clean it up. Get it clean," Williams said. "It all has to do with management. The people that manage the inside too."

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.