At MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, several families have shared photographs of mold growing in their homes on the base. In the photos, mold can be seen growing inside the walls, under the floorboards, and in the HVAC units.
Several families who live at the base have shared their stories and claim that they were unknowingly living in the mold contaminated homes. They also said that trying to fix the problem has been a serious battle with the company that handles housing maintenance.
The housing at MacDill Air Force Base is owned and operated by a private company, known as Harbor Bay. The President of Michaels Management Services, Ron Hansen, said, “The Air Force is not responsible for any of this. When people are pointing fingers at someone for maintenance issues, they’re pointing at us and they’re right.”
The Michaels Organization is the parent company of Michaels Management Services, the property manager for Harbor Bay, the military housing community at MacDill Air Force Base. They handle leasing and maintenance for the families who live on the base.
According to Hansen, Harbor Bay is a privatization effort between the owner of the project, Clark Realty Capital, and the United States Air Force.
Michaels was hired by Clark Realty Capital to serve as the property manager for the base’s community housing.
Hansen said that they have been working to remediate the mold and the other issues that the military families are experiencing. When asked if Michaels takes responsibility for the mold, Hansen said, “I’d rather not answer that.”
The Genrichs, one of the military families affected by the mold problem, moved to MacDill Air Force base in 2018. At first, they were excited for their move, but not long after they moved in, their excitement changed to concern and frustration. Jenny Genrich said that her husband started to experience symptoms about three weeks after they moved in. His symptoms included headaches, brain fog, and difficulty breathing. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but then she realized that the problems could be linked to something inside their home.
Genrich said that their air conditioning unit developed a leak, which was quickly repaired, but that nothing was done to remove the materials that were damaged by moisture. She thought that mold might be the issue and she reported it. A mold remediation company came in and showed her the extent to which their house was contaminated with mold. Genrish said that she couldn’t believe what she saw. She said that the mold was on the studs, subflooring, and on pieces of sheetrock.
Her husband was diagnosed with “sick building syndrome.” His health problems were so severe that his career was affected; he was medically profiled and was not able to deploy.
Mold Inspection & Testing Orlando has performed countless mold assessments at properties throughout the state of Florida. We strongly urge the company that manages and maintains the housing at MacDill Air Force Base to schedule routine mold testing to protect the safety of the residents. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 321.236.0087.