A severely mice-infested apartment complex is being called out by Attorney General Josh Hawley as “an uninhabitable living environment.”. The Clinton-Peabody Housing Complex is located just south of downtown St. Louis and has been under fire since a December survey exposed mice in at least 165 of the complex’s 358 apartment units. The number of units presenting with mice was down to 88, a reduction of about 47 percent, according to a subsequent report released by the city of St. Louis a few months later in February. And just last month, a follow-up report released by city health department officials stated evidence of mice in 42 units.
Built in 1942, the 31-building complex is home to over 1,000 low-income residents, providing an invaluable service to some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens. The Republican Hawley is running for U.S. Senate and stated that the Attorney General’s office investigation will focus on answering if the complex violates Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act. Residents have been complaining about the paltry living conditions at the complex since last year. In addition to the mice infestation, residents have voiced concerns over deteriorating units and increases in violent crime in the area. The complaints sparked off a blame game between residents, city health officials, and the Housing Authority. Officials with the Housing Authority claim that they have invested about $250,000 in corrective actions since last fall to clean up the complex in an effort to rid the units of the rodents. Last month there was a heated demonstration hosted by St. Louis Democrats state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed and state Rep. Bruce Franks. The purpose of the demonstration was to call more attention to the matter and to advocate for the residents.