Bronx mom whose baby was bitten by rat in NYCHA apartment calls situation ‘worst nightmare’

THE BRONX — Officials with the New York State Health Department stepped in at a Bronx public housing complex Tuesday after tenants shared disturbing video of massive rats crawling through their homes.

Asia Clemente's 1-year-old son was bitten by a rat inside her apartment at the Claremont Consolidated Houses. She'd asked for a transfer and was told she'd have to wait a year. The New York City Housing Authority is working with her now following the release of the videos.

"This is just not fair to him. This is like a mother's worst nightmare," she said, explaining her baby has been in and out of the hospital since he'd been bitten.  "I just want a good living for my kids. They deserve a safe place to live."

A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio noted the city has a $32 million plan in place to handle the rat problem.

“Rat Burrows are down 79% since last September," the spokesperson said in an email. "For the NYCHA developments in this area (including the one you covered yesterday) – we are installing new compactor’s and rat pads to help reduce the vermin population. Rats are pesky, but we aren’t afraid to deal with them & improve our resident’s quality of life!”

Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson is angry on behalf of the families she represents and wants city officials to come to the NYCHA facility.

"I still want the mayor to visit," she said. "I still want the general manager to visit and I still want the deputy mayor to visit."