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Residents of Manhattan Square are frustrated by mold and asbestos problems

Residents who live at the downtown Rochester apartment complex, Manhattan Square, are voicing their concerns about asbestos work that has been going on for over and that isn’t scheduled to be completed until 2021. They’ve also expressed concern over mold growth.

“We have all this dust on the floor and it’s in the elevators,” Brenda Weaver, a resident of the complex who has developed respiratory issues, said.

“A lot of my friends, they have breathing problems,” Betty Rivers, another resident, said. Rivers also stated that black mold is growing all over the building.

“I was told I’m borderline COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease),” resident Billy Booker stated.

Yet another resident, Pamela Owens, said, “Asbestos is deadly!”

Owens, a member of the Rochester Tenants Union, resides at Manhattan Square. She claims that the asbestos work has been going on for more than a year and said that she believes all residents of the complex should be relocated while the work is being done. Asbestos is toxic and can be deadly.

“People who have been here over the years are getting sick – breathing problems, health problems,” said Owens.

Residents of the downtown Rochester apartment complex spoke with a local news station and invited them for a tour so they could witness the conditions that they are being forced to live with. In addition to the asbestos work, black mold growth is visibly growing throughout the building. The hallways also smell of powerful agents. The scene is so bad that some residents, such as Sara Trisvan, have been wearing masks all day. Trisvan claims says that she has developed asthma as a result of the conditions, and even provided medical paperwork to prove her claim.

“I’m stuck here! I want to get out of here,” she said.

Mary Ann Legg, another resident, said that she suffers from “terrible headaches” because of the conditions in the building, “I see two specialists about my headaches”, Legg said.

Terry Hurley said that the chemical smell is always present in the building. Billy Booker said that there isn’t sufficient ventilation in the building, and as such, the chemicals are lingering in the air and creating black mold in the building.

Booker says that the owners of the building are in violation of New York State Law Section 235-B, the Warrant of Habitability. This law guarantees that residents have access to living spaces that are fit for human habitation.

The black mold and asbestos weren’t the only problems. Residents have also complained about rodents, insufficient security, human excrement in the laundry facilities, poor parking, and dangerous sidewalks in the winter that aren’t attended to. Owens says that the residents just want their concerns to be taken seriously by Conifer, the building owner.

Mold Inspection & Testing Rochester strongly has vast experience performing mold tests in the Rochester area. We strongly urge Conifer to arrange for mold testing in Manhattan Square to ensure that the health is residents’ is safe. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 716.400.0712.

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