Algiers woman living with mold wants apartment complex to fix leak causing it

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 7:41 PM

Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS -- On the surface, one Algiers apartment complex looks well-kept and clean, but one mother says it is what is lurking inside the walls that has her concerned for her family's health and safety.

Marthaclayvette Smith, a single mother of two little girls, thought she had seen it all when she found mold growing inside her walls.

"This is the Holly Park way of fixing the issue, just patching it up," says Smith, as she points to patchwork of repaired holes in her walls. Then she discovered mold in her utility room and water in the light fixture on the ceiling of her bathroom.

"I am afraid to touch it because I don't know if something might spark, ya know," said Smith. "Anything with water and electricity is scary."

In the four years Smith has lived at Holly Park Apartments in Algiers, her house has flooded three different times. Each time she has contacted the management at the apartment complex and still she keeps finding mold.

"I guarantee that if I lift up my carpet right now, it's going to be full of mold," said Smith. "It's going to be full of mold and that's the carpet my daughters walk on everyday."

The most recent flood happened just a few days ago, leaving two to three inches of standing water throughout Smith's apartment.

The apartment complex claims it was caused by a sewage back up that happened in one of the neighboring apartments.

Yet, Smith says they will not remove the carpet. Instead, they tell Smith she is not approved to have her carpet replaced.

"I just feel like something is wrong because if this has been going on since I moved here, someone is not fixing the problem and it's turning out to be a condition that a human being should not be living," said Smith.

We tried talking to the management at Holly Park Apartment Complex, we even calling the number posted above the locked office door, but their was no answer.

According to Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the apartment complex had a failing housing score of 30 just before HUD foreclosed on the property in 2008 and sold it to the current owner, Republic Housing LLC, of Winter Park, Fla.

After several inquiries, Eyewitness News finally received an email from Holly Park representative Linda Bagley saying, "We address all maintenance needs immediately ... We will assess the maintenance needs and address any issues found as quickly as possible."

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