Hitchcock residents forced out of apartments due to mold


The city shut down several buildings at the Mesquite Woods apartments last week.

For the past six days, James Wells and family have been calling a Hitchcock hotel room home. All the belongings they could carry are in plastic bags.

"One day last week they told us we had to move," Wells said.

Last Wednesday, half of the six buildings at the Mesquite Woods apartments were condemned. Wells and 11 other families were forced out and this is what was left behind -- mold. In one unit, the mold extended from floor to ceiling. Wells said mold appeared in his family's apartment a few months ago. He says he reported it to the manager.

"The man came out and shampooed the carpet. The shampoo man, but it came back, boom, just like that," said Wells.

The condition appeared on the city's radar last week, with a call from an insurance adjuster who was looking at the buildings after a policy claim about a plumbing leak. He called code enforcement.

"The building inspector has never seen it so bad, even in abandoned houses," Wells said.

No one answered the door at the apartment owner's home. The city says the owner is required to provide alternate housing for the affected residents because they paid their rent for the month,. But already James Wells plans to move on and not move back.

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