'I'm so over it': Resident on landlord's lack of concern for mold growth in her building

Tenant concerned over moldy apartment building

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Mold growth and water damage is not something you want to find inside your home, but one Old Louisville resident claims she has been dealing with it for months, without help from her landlord.

"I’m over it. I’m so over it,” Rus'Shon Weakley told WHAS11 Friday. 

Weakley lives in the Reeser Court Apartments, owned by New Directions. She said she has been asking her landlord to clean up mold that has grown near the building’s back staircase and claims it has made both her and her son sick.

“I have a kid. I can't just let stuff rot and let you sweep it under the rug,” Weakley said.

Frustrated and fed up, Rus'Shon Weakley describes what's happening as “repugnant."

She sent photos from inside the building's back stairwell which show mold and spores sprouting out from the drywall.

The health department confirms the growth is there— citing mold and water damage inside the building.

Weakly said, "It's a life-threatening issue. I mean this could affect my son. And like I said, this has been going on since the end of May."

Officials with the health department said it got the first complaint on May 26 and four days later they issued an "order to correct” which is something they only do if they believe health or safety are at risk.

New Directions, which owns the building, had until June 12 to be in compliance. But come June 16 there was another complaint to the health department, according to the health department.

Meanwhile, Weakley said she was begging her property manager to address the issue.

"It was always an excuse. Oh I didn't know this, we had bad communication, I've been out there I've seen it, everything that she said to me, I didn't care to hear it,” Weakley said.

The only thing she did want was action, and that’s something she said she didn't see until Friday after she contacted WHAS11.

"I truly believe nobody would've been out here today had I not emailed the news,” Weakley said.

When WHAS11 got to the property Friday morning, restoration crews were on scene. The back staircase was taped off and workers wearing protective gear were removing dry wall and bags of debris.

Representatives from New Directions were also there.

"New Directions has over 1000 residents living in our properties, we care about all of our residents, we offer many programs, we offer many services to them. Whenever there is a complaint with one of our properties we address that promptly. The issue here is an issue we've had scheduled to repair, it’s not in response to a complaint to WHAS,” Ashley Cassetty, Director of Community Engagement for New Directions, said.

Cassetty said the organization has not received any written complaints from residents on the issue but have been aware of it since May.

Weakley said that’s the problem. She said when it comes to her health and the health of her son, time is of the essence.

Weakley said, “Until I see the final job. Until that mold is out of the air. Until that back is gutted out the way it should be, I can’t' get excited about it."

The health department said New Directions has until Monday to present a plan of action to eliminate the mold.

New Directions’ full statement is below.

“New Directions is aware of three pictures that were posted and tagged to its Facebook page on July 7, 2017 that show mold infestation at Reeser Court Apartments, which is owned and managed by New Directions.  This area is a stairwell in the back of the complex and does not involve any residential apartment unit itself.

New Directions first became aware of this mold issue in late May based on the complaint of a previous resident who no longer lives at Reeser Court.  New Directions began initial steps toward remediating this issue with a spray designed to eradicate the mold.  After consultation with its contractor, New Directions decided further remediation was necessary. Further remediation was underway when received a complaint from a resident of Reeser Court about this issue during the week of June 26, 2017.  In the current course of the remediation, part of the drywall has been removed from the stairwell and certain sprays have been applied to the wall in order to determine the source of the leak causing the mold.  These procedures take time.  The resident who filed the complaint is apparently the resident who provided the pictures. 

New Directions has been working diligently to continue to remediate and abate this property issue.  The Louisville Health Department is also aware of this remediation and has informed New Directions that it is satisfied with the progress of this remediation.

New Directions cares deeply about its residents and actively works to address any complaints it receives.  Like any responsible landlord, New Directions realizes issues involving its property will come up from time to time.  However, New Directions strives to address any issues raised by its residents as soon as reasonably possible.  New Directions owns a large portfolio of residential multifamily apartment units and many of these units are historic in nature or have been rehabilitated.

New Directions is proud of its properties and the residents it is able to serve.  Many New Directions properties undergo frequent and stringent inspections by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) and Kentucky Housing Corporation (“KHC”) which help insure the health and safety of these properties.  In fact, New Directions just recently received the statewide award for Outstanding Performance/Property Management Division at the 2017 Housing Management Conference sponsored by KHC and HUD.  

New Directions also prides itself on its transparency both to its Board, its donors and the general public.  New Directions is happy to give tours of its many properties at any time.  Contact Kitty McKune, EVP of Development & General Counsel at 502.719.7106 or kittym@ndhc.org.”

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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