Did mold complaints fall on deaf ears?

June 18, 2010 4:10:18 PM PDT
There's outrage from residents of a public housing complex in Houston. The place they call home is infested with mold, and they say their complaints have fallen on deaf ears. A Houston family living at the Allen Parkway Village near downtown tells Eyewitness News they've been living in a home covered with mold, and they say it's making them sick.

A household at the complex is in constant motion, from wiping and scratching to blowing and coughing. The kids, say their mom, are sick and she shows us why -- a filthy smelly apartment she says she can't clean.

"The carpet you're standing on, this is the same carpet that flooded from Ike," said resident Margena Ursin.

"This is the carpet that got wet. And it hasn't been removed?" we asked.

"Correct," said Ursin.

Her apartment is inside Allen Parkway Village, a subsidized housing community. Ursin says her complaints to remove her carpet have been ignored. She says Ike water damage to her carpet and ceiling have made her home unsafe.

"Up here where you see it painted and patched up, there was a big mold area there. I wasn't home when they came to fix the mold," she said as she showed us the wall above her stairway. "But what the guys did was paint over it."

The Houston Housing Authority owns Allen Parkway Village and showed us work orders documenting repairs scheduled for next week. But why didn't the repair happen over a year and a half ago when Ursin says she first complained?

"We're checking to find out if she ever did make a complaint about the carpet being wet. Did she go into the office and fill out a form?" said Dennia Spellman with the Houston Housing Authority.

"She says she did," we said.

"Well, I'll tell you this: Whether or not she did or didn't, what I can tell you is she is going to get new carpet and it's going in next week.''

Spellman says they have not found mold before, but there are plans now to test for it. It's a plan Ursin says is long overdue for her four children.

"It's not that easy with four kids," she said. "Their health is my main concern."

HHA officials say they're now going to check for mold in Ursin's apartment and others we visited on Friday.


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