Houston mom living in car with 3 kids because of rat infestation at apartment

A North Houston woman is now living out of her truck with her three children all under the age of 10.

Pamela Hernandez tells FOX 26, she doesn’t feel safe living in her apartment due to a rat infestation.

"This was supposed to be our home, this wasn’t supposed to happen to my kids like this again," said Hernandez. "To live in a home that is unsafe, they’ve gone through so much this year so much."

Hernandez, who lives at the Bayou Oak Apartment in North Houston reached out to FOX 26, saying her apartment is infested with big wood rats and the leasing office is doing nothing about it.

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She says she’s even contacted their corporate office. 

"It’s a joke to them," said Hernandez.

FOX 26 spoke with one of the leasing managers on Tuesday. They tell us they are aware of the issue and are currently working on it.

The manager said they have handed out mouse traps and poison and that they also brought in an exterminator. 

Many landlords turning down rental aid from Eviction Diversion program

The state allocated $221 million from the federal C.A.R.E.S. Act to help keep delinquent tenants in their homes but a number of landlords say the assistance is too late.

But Hernandez says no one came by.

“It's not like I’m not paying my rent for my problems not to be fixed or to be treated like I’m not humane or be dehumanized,” said Hernandez.

For now, Hernandez says she is paying rent for an apartment she no longer feels that she can live out of. 

She has turned to living in her car with her three young children. She adds the children are terrified of the rats. 

"It’s not fair to them, we can't live here. We can't," said Hernandez.

Hernandez said she moved down from Oklahoma after escaping a violent relationship. 

And then she turned her life around, she was hoping that this was going to be their fresh start. 

Chris Tritico, FOX 26’s senior legal analyst, said per Texas property code, this is a habitability issue and Hernandez could have a good case for breaking her lease. 

FOX 26 has not received a statement from the leasing office about this issue.

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