A law firm based in Tallahassee said that it’s considering filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of nearly 50 people who reside in HUD apartment complexes in Jacksonville, Florida.
A legal assistant for the Bernard Daley law firm, Robert Barnhill, said that they’re looking into a list of allegations concerning dangerous living conditions in several low-income housing communities.
John Starling, a resident of Willow Lakes apartment complex, says that he’s convinced there is black mold growing in his apartment.
“It’s frustrating because I came out here thinking I’d have a safe and clean environment to live in,” Starling said.
Starling suffers from severe asthma and has had respiratory problems for several months. The roof blew off the old unit he lived in during a storm. He said that he was moved into a new unit, which he believes has black mold growing between the walls.
The manager of the apartment complex said that there have never been any issues with mold in any of the units. She did admit, however, that the complex hasn’t had any testing performed, either.
Marva Hendrix, a resident of the Oakwood Villa apartments, another HUD housing complex, said that she is having the same type of problem. Hendrix said that there is mold, mildew, roaches, and issues with sewage that she has been trying to contend with for months. She said that the conditions are making her daughter sick.
“It’s awful. There’s so many sick kids out there, it’s crazy. People really don’t understand how serious it is. For it to be swept under the rug is even worse,” Hendrix said.
A local news station contacted the Oakwood Villa apartments, however, their calls have not been answered.
Barnhill said that based on the pictures and evidence that they have collected so far, there’s a serious issue.
“Our goal is to have HUD demo these properties,” Barnhill said.
The tenants said that they just want a clean, safe place to live and to raise their families.
“I can’t even cook dinner for my daughter because sometimes, the water pressure is so low, it’s not even running,” Hendrix told reporters.
The news station has contacted the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) about the claims, but they are still waiting to receive a response.
The manager of the Willow Lakes apartment complex said that she thinks some of the complaints that have been filed are a misunderstanding. She said that she’s holding a meeting for people who reside at the complex to discuss the issues.
Given the health complications that mold exposure can cause, the concerns of the tenants are valid. If mold is a problem, it is HUD’s responsibility to take care of the issue.
Mold Inspection & Testing Jacksonville has vast experience performing mold tests in the Jacksonville area. We strongly urge the managers of these apartment complexes to arrange for mold testing from a reputable company to confirm the presence of mold. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 904.300.0099.