New affordable housing complex already facing rodent infestation

When Gov. Ned Lamont cut the ribbon on Norwalk’s Soundview Landing in September 2021, it was hailed as the future of affordable housing. But now, many units are plagued with rodents – and neighbors complain they’ve gotten the runaround from city officials and property managers.

John Craven

May 5, 2023, 10:19 PM

Updated 387 days ago

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When Gov. Ned Lamont cut the ribbon on Norwalk’s Soundview Landing in September 2021, it was hailed as the future of affordable housing. But now, many units are plagued with rodents – and neighbors complain they’ve gotten the runaround from city officials and property managers.
“They started to try to climb on my bed. They've jumped out into my garbage,” said resident Jody Ann Reid. “They've ran into my couches.”
Reid was one of the first tenants to return after Soundview Landing replaced the notoriously crime-ridden Washington Village housing projects, which also suffered heavy damage in Superstorm Sandy. But almost immediately, her dream turned into a nightmare when mice covered her brand-new apartment in feces.
“It's just overwhelming in such a new place. It doesn't make sense,” she said. “Whoever developed this place – they were very fast in building this building up. They didn't take their time; they didn't care about us.”
Property managers brought in exterminators, but the problem persists almost two years later.
“We had, you know, the governor, we had a lot of local and federal politicians out here for the grand opening,” said fellow resident Dajuan Wiggins. “But not a lot of people are standing on that now.”
The Norwalk Housing Authority, which jointly owns and developed the complex with Trinity Financial, brought in a new property manager eight months ago.
“We believe the response has been inadequate,” said NHA executive director Adam Bovilsky. “We have made clear to Winn management that we believe that their work there needs to be accelerated.”
New property manager Winn Companies said it’s increasing mitigation efforts.
“We appreciate and share the concerns expressed by residents and we are moving quickly to address the issue,” said Winn spokesperson Ed Cafasso in a statement. “Unfortunately, recent construction activity around these buildings also stirred up increased pest activity on the property.  We are taking several immediate steps that we believe will address these concerns.”
Cafasso said Winn is closing gaps and access points on the outside of buildings, increasing “bait stations” around the complex and inspecting each apartment to identify and close entry points.
So where are the rodents coming from? Bovilsky thinks flooding on nearby Water Street may be forcing mice to higher ground.
“I think the real issue also may be that, once they did find a way in, they have not been able to successfully eradicate the problem,” he said. “Their populations are going to grow.”
Either way, Reid is tired of talk. She wants action.
“My daughter that's 7 years old – she's scared to sleep in her room right now because she's scared the mice is going to crawl in her bed,” said Reid.


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