After years of homelessness with her husband and children, Sandra Haviland was ecstatic to land an apartment this May.
The two-bedroom unit at the Royal Suite Apartments, a former motel that fronts Minnesota Drive, was modest.
The couple's elementary school-age sons would share a bed. So would their two teenage daughters. Haviland and her husband would sleep on the couch and a fold-out cot, respectively.
But after camping on the floor of a church and being crammed in motel rooms, an apartment promised stability and peace.
"When you are homeless and you finally get an apartment, you're just so happy," Haviland said.
But six months later, Haviland and others who reside at the Royal Suite Apartments are finding out just what being a low-income renter with few other options can mean in Anchorage.
Haviland and some of her neighbors say their apartments are so infested with bedbugs that they put children to bed at night with a dose of Benadryl to dull itching and allow sleep.
Read more: Low-income renters in Anchorage bitten by another problem: Bedbugs
Alaska Dispatch Publishing