Vancouver Courier’s recent coverage of West Point Grey’s Steeves Manor centred today on their on-going bed bug problem. This BC Housing complex is open to seniors and those living with a disability.
Elibibility Criteria Re-defined
Some of those tenants have noted that bed bugs were not a problem until BC Housing re-defined the eligibility criteria for residency. Several years ago, ‘disability’ was revised to include drug and alcohol addicts, including a dual diagnosis of mental illness – which can also include those with conditions that make them difficult to house.
BC Housing responded to the Couriers queries as follows:
“Residents at Steeves Manor must meet our eligibility criteria – also, a health services coordinator speaks with applicants to ensure they can live independently and be near the supports they need. Bed bug infestations are not just a concern at Steeves Manor, the appearance of bed bugs 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."
According to the Courier, BC Housing responded, in writing, that while tenants can’t be evicted for repeatedly having bed bugs, they can be asked to leave if they don’t cooperate during treatment for the pests.
No Silver Bullet On The Horizon
Although the expansion of the eligibility criteria may have had a direct impact on the rise of bed bugs at the manor, there is no denying the bed bug problem is growing throughout Vancouver and BC. Nor is there an easy or fast solution for BC Housing or anyone facing a bed bug problem. Those that have experienced a bed bug infestation can attest to the labour intensive chores necessary for eradication. For seniors, the disabled and those dealing with mental illness those challenge can be insurmountable.
Solution = Education + Early Detection
Public education and early detection of bed bugs are the first steps towards controlling bed bugs. Know the signs of bed bugs. If you suspect you have been exposed, a bed bug dog inspection will alleviate your fears. Early detection will keep remediation costs down and significantly limit the stress experienced with an infestation. Spread the word, not the bed bug.