Hamilton Hotel residents voice concerns over security, rent price and bed bugs

Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 7:14 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - The Hamilton Hotel is a longtime staple of the downtown Laredo skyline.

It stands as a landmark for the gateway city and continues to serve a purpose for low-income housing.

Over the decades some would say that the building has fallen into a state of disarray, so much so that it was an item of discussion during Monday’s City Council meeting where it was being deemed a health emergency due to a possible bed bug infestation.

While city officials continue to figure out the logistics of the situation, a resident who lives in the building said the issues have made it difficult for him and other tenants to get a good night’s sleep.

“I’ve been here from the last two years, and the Hamilton is a nice place to live, the people are nice the residents here are nice, the staff is super nice,” said Hamilton Hotel tenant Larry Blackwell.

From colorful mosaics to its historical architecture, the Hamilton Hotel has reached a century milestone; however, the hotel has seen its fair share of issues.

“There’s never been security here in the two years that I’ve been here, and I know for a fact the TV has been stolen out of the lobby and the doors that they have,” said Blackwell.

Aside from security issues, Mr. Blackwell said there have been some problems that have been bugging the residents.

“I kill bugs every day, bugs are smart. When I go to bed and turn the lights out and wait 30 minutes or an hour and get back up and when I turn the light on they go everywhere,” said Blackwell.

Blackwell has also seen the rent increase from one day to the next.

If these issues keep up, he and dozens of others are worried that they will be kicked out of the building.

“It’s a place to live, there’s a roof over my head and that is very important to me, I don’t want to end up homeless,” said Blackwell.

KGNS reached out to city officials to address the issue.

Mayor Dr. Victor Treviño says there is a plan to help the hotel’s residents.

“They are managed by an entity and the city manages the funds, as a new mayor, I will make any effort to make these issues looked into and focus on solutions,” said Dr. Trevino.

Even if the rent price is not resolved, dozens of residents like Blackwell expect that the hotel’s issues are fixed so they can enjoy what they are paying for.

“For me if they are going to charge me the full price for the apartment, then I think that I deserve to have a full price apartment one that’s clean and one it’s bug free. I think I deserve it too,” said Blackwell.

KGNS reached out to the Hamilton Hotel management for comment, but we have not heard back at this time.

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