Mold concerns in government subsidized apartments

Mold concerns in government subsidized apartments »Play Video
IDAHO CITY - Tenants say they’re fed up with the mold in their apartment complex, but they’re not sure what to do about it.

Katy Smith says fungus is growing in her kitchen, the bathroom, and around the windows.

“I'm allergic to mold,” Smith said. “I was disgusted. I have three kids”
Neighbor Jana Inama has photos showing what looks like mold growing in her attic.

“Ew,” Inama said when she found the fungus. “…I'm not a dirty person.”

Both women live in the Shadow Mountain Apartments. It's government housing subsidized with tax dollars. But Smith and Inama say their landlord came by to look into their complaints, and said there was no mold.

“That is not mold. In your attic is not mold,” Smith said. “They tell us it's not mold. We know it's mold.”

So is it mold?

Mold expert, Brad Harr at Summit Environmental says,'yes.'

“It looks like mold just from photographs,” Harr said.

So why are taxpayers paying for moldy apartments?

Lee Jones, spokesman from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, says HUD doesn't like to see mold in the apartments and homes they subsidize.

Jones says he didn't know about the mold concerns at Shadow Mountain Apartments, but called the owner to find out more.

Noel Gill, vice president of operations at Northwest Real Estate Capital in Boise, says they hired an inspector to look into tenant's complaints. But he didn't know that the apartment manager had previously passed by and declared the complex mold free.

Are the apartments safe?

Harr says it's impossible to know until the lab results come back.
“You don't want mold in your house... In your house and there,” Harr said.

In the meanwhile, Inama says she feels trapped.

“This is the only place I can afford to live,” Inama said.

And Inama and Smith just want it taken care of.

“Kids don't deserve to live in it,” Smith said. “and I can't stand it.”

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