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Bedbugs Infest Stockton Low-Income Housing Complex, Again Residents Say

STOCKTON (CBS13) - A low-income senior housing complex in Stockton is overrun by bedbugs, and some residents say this isn't the first time it's happened in their homes.

"They've had this problem for years," one tenant said.

The Franco Apartments on El Dorado Street, which is run by the San Joaquin County Housing Authority, provides low-income housing for struggling seniors and the poor.

James Lee Johnson is one of the many tenants complaining about the infestation. He even showed CBS13 on his body where he's riddled with bite marks. Johnson says some of the seniors have been forced to throw out their furniture just to get rid of the bugs.

"Why make an older person have to constantly replace their furniture?" said Johnson.

Many say they've been complaining to the housing authority for months.

"That's some sad stuff; that's really sad," one woman said.

"We don't know how many units are actually infested here," said Alan Coonsan with the housing authority.

Housing authority officials say they've sprayed the complex numerous times over the last several months. They believe part of the problem is that a handful of tenants are bringing in prostitutes and homeless people, which they also claim bring with them bed bugs. Housing officials also admitted they don't often check unless they get bed bug complaints.

"They've done more than (be proactive). They have had seminars to show the people this is what bed bugs look like," said Coonsan.

The housing authority held these seminars "about two or three months ago, four months ago," Coonsan said.

Some residents are scared to complain, fearing of "getting put out on the streets and being homeless," one resident said.

The housing authority says it will continue to investigate these bed bug complaints and will spray again.

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