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Niles Housing Commission resident voices concerns

A woman who lives in the Niles Housing Commission building on Cass Street says it is time for some things to change.

Carmen Dee Jennings has lived in the Niles Housing Commission building for about two years. 

She says one of her biggest concerns is crime.  Jennings says crime is saturating her housing complex and the surrounding neighborhood.

“We have disturbing the peace, assault, larceny the list goes on and on,” Jennings said.

Jennings says for the last couple years she has been an advocate for other residents

“Some of these people have no families, they feel like they are in jail because they have nowhere else to go and they cannot afford to go anywhere else," said Jennings.

Jennings says crime is not the only issue.  She says she has over thirty complaints against the Housing Commission other residents have given her.

“I'm there for the residents, I see what goes on and I fight whether they tell me to or not,” said Jennings. 

She says she's fighting for a safer place to call home.

Police reports show officers have been called to the complex at 251 Cass Street  nearly 140 times since January.

But Jennings says the issues do not stop there, she says there is also a disconnect between residents and staff. 

“Why didn't they go in there and check in room 209 for that man?" said Jennings.

On October 9,  police found a man dead in his unit in the Niles Housing Commission building.

“Residents kept complaining about the smell and because his room was in front of the room where we throw our trash, we weren't positive where the smell was coming from, but we've never smelled a smell like that before, never,” Jennings said.

She  says in the days leading up to the body being found, the smell in the hall was unbearable, but no one checked on the resident.

Jennings says should would like to see someone put in place to be a liaison between residents and the state.

ABC57 reached out to the director of the Niles Housing Commission, we are still waiting to hear back. 

Police and city officials say the Niles Housing Commission has never been considered a problem property.
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