"There's not a lot of resources for us:" Bedroom ceiling collapses in Milwaukee home

NOW: “There’s not a lot of resources for us:“ Bedroom ceiling collapses in Milwaukee home

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A bedroom ceiling collapsed in a Milwaukee home Tuesday.

Now, the family that lives there is having trouble getting the help they need.

Shanara Fenelon says a crack appeared Thursday in the ceiling where two of her sons sleep. Days later, large ceiling chunks fell to the ground.

Fenelon says she was inside the room when it happened and was trapped there. She says it forced her out the bedroom window.

"All I could imagine was what if my kids were in here?” Fenelon said. “It could've been worse. I'd rather me than my children. Just imagine [my son’s] laying in the bed and this collapsed on him. He's only 11 years old."

With the boys unable to sleep in their room, the crowded house with seven children now feels more cramped.

Fenelon says she’s also worried about breathing in hazardous materials.

"My nose has been tingling,” she said. “My throat has been irritated since yesterday. It just was a horrible experience for me."

Fenelon says she’s put five maintenance requests into her property manager’s website, but hasn’t gotten a response or been able to get someone on the phone.

The company didn’t respond to CBS 58’s request for comment.

Walt Brummund, a landlord-tenant lawyer, says the best way to force a landlord to make a repair is to complain to the city to get the building inspectors out there.

Fenelon has done that too, and was told it could take 10 days to make an inspection appointment.

With money tight, leaving isn’t an option either.

"There's not a lot of resources for us,” Fenelon said. “A lot of people are living in inhabitable conditions with their children and there's nothing being done."

Milwaukee has a rent withholding program that would allow Shanara to pay the city rent, not her landlord, until a problem is fixed.

Fenelon says she’s waiting for acceptance into the program.

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